Linda and Gary Tatu
Gary was born and raised in Western New York, Linda is from Pittsburgh, PA. They know they were destined to meet and be together. The fact that the fateful meeting occurred on a roller coaster proves God does indeed have a sense of humor. Harvest House was not a life long dream. Always faithful to God, Gary and Linda took their faith more seriously after attending a Cursillo weekend in 1990. It was at this retreat they were introduced to Jesus as a friend. Over the next few years Linda, knowing how uncomfortable Gary was becoming with the uneven distribution of wealth in the world, could sense they were in for a lifestyle change. She thought it would be to a smaller house! The seed was planted when Gary saw a picture of a church in a real estate listing book. A few days later the seed was cultivated at a John Michael Talbot concert where all night the messages of "Sell all you have, give to the poor and follow me," and "Peter do you love me? Feed my sheep." seemed to be directed specifically at them. Gary and Linda left the concert and drove by the church. After months of research, prayer and feeling God's loving hand guiding them, they sold their home in the suburbs and on April 12, 1993, purchased the derelict city church which is now Harvest House. The years have been challenging, enlightening, frustrating, and inspiring. It is only through God's grace that Harvest House has become the wonderful inviting "home" it is to so many.
If you ask Gary or Linda what the one thing they learned is, they would answer "to never say never." However, even after all the ways they witnessed God working in their life, they always proclaimed that there would never be a second Harvest House location. They say if you want to make God smile, tell him your plans.
On October 4, 2003, the 10th anniversary of Harvest House was celebrated by paying off the mortgage - 7 years ahead of schedule! Soon after this celebration, a second location, a former Mack Truck dealership and service center, and surrounding property, was donated to Harvest House. They named the building the Harvest House Ministry Center and envisioned it becoming a one-stop center to help the community. The site at 175 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo currently serves the community with Good Neighbors Health Care, New Hope Education Center, and the Baby & Children's Ministry, and their vision is becoming a reality. By continuing to follow God's will, the Ministry Center is sure to continue to have programs that honor Him and help his people.