We have put countless hours and detail into creating this little piece of heaven on the shores of Lake Lanier. After purchasing this place and living here for six years, we turned it into a vacation rental in 2013.
In 2006, we and our three children were in search of a new home…we had recently relocated to Gainesville from Atlanta to follow Alycea’s parents (and the free babysitting) but were restless and feeling the need for a different location.
We were already in love with Lake Lanier, so a lakehouse was all we were looking for, when this location fell into our lap. Our family lived in The Ark for six years before we realized its greater purpose: this is a ministry house meant for more than just a family of five. There’s a higher calling to this property.
At first, the whole idea seemed completely ludicrous. My family and I had no intention of leaving our home. The Ark started as what we thought would be our ending destination.
We raised goats, chickens, alpacas and a pony in the pasture that is now a parking lot. This was our home and the place where my kids were making their childhood memories.
However, we started re-evaluating everything when a house fire destroyed part of our home in September 2008. At the same time, the lake was down over 20 feet and the financial markets crashed. Working as a financial advisor his whole career, Jeff felt the triple whammy from the fire, the lake being down to unusable levels and the financial market collapse.
We had to move out for eight months just to get the house cleaned up and to salvage what belongings we could. In March 2009, with the burned parts of the house boarded up, and before any renovations had started, we moved back in.
We had the thought during this crazy time in life that for some unforeseen reason we were supposed to add more bedrooms to increase the sleeping capacity. It took a couple of years for this to come to fruition but we started building. And people thought we were crazy.
People on the front lines caring for others found peace and relaxation here when they needed it most. That is when we started to see the power of our property. And in that moment, it became all too clear that this property had a bigger future.
Bad markets. Real estate prices collapsing. Economy in recession. Lake almost dry. And yet we were adding more bedrooms onto an already sizable home, simply because we thought we were supposed to.
After our initial renovations, we began providing rest for missionaries coming in from overseas. People on the front lines caring for others found peace and relaxation here when they needed it most.
That is when we started to see the power of our property. And in that moment, it became all too clear that this property had a bigger future and purpose. This wasn’t just a lake house; this was a ministry house and a place of refuge.
When we were trying to think up a name to call this huge place, my mother-in-law told me I reminded her of Noah and a light bulb went off in my head. When we were remodeling and adding on more rooms, I felt exactly like I imagine Noah felt when he was building the Ark. This was a place of peace and refuge. It’s huge, and we even had a bunch of animals our first few years here. And so the name was born: Ark on Lake Lanier.
What started out as a home to raise our family turned into something with far more purpose: a place to bring families together, an environment where both relaxation and an abundance of activity can harmonize, where seclusion can work together with openness to provide an unparalleled retreat for any missionary, any family, any team, and any group.
Ark on Lake Lanier continues to realize our vision. We now rent it out as much as we can to cover the costs of providing a haven in the off-season to those who need it most. It’s truly become a “self-sustaining ministry house” with a higher purpose.
What are you waiting for?
book your stay now!
We’re ready to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today or book through our online system here. We usually respond within 24 hours.