Traveling back to 1998, Marilyn's & John B's daughter, Karla, was engaged to be married. Karla knew that she wanted to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the family farm that meant so much to her. After Karla's beautiful wedding on the farm, years later she had three beautiful children, where one would follow in her footsteps in 2020 to have a wedding on the family farm just like she did. Due to Covid, Karla's daughter, Whitney, could only have a small ceremony in 2020. Marilyn knew that God's timing was perfect, and that this was the opportunity to create something special for her granddaughter and many more brides to come. Thus, "The Gathering Place," was born. Whitney had a beautiful wedding in the spring of 2021. As of today, it is a special place for families and friends to gather together to celebrate love. The Gathering Place is now home to many others than just the Thomas family, and will be home for anyone who comes to John B's farm for generations to come.
The John B. Thomas Gathering Place found its roots through years and years of Tobacco Farming starting in 1998. Named after the farmer himself, John B. not only built his farm from the ground up, but rooted his family with deep southern traditions and values. John & his wife Marilyn traveled the world chasing the tobacco markets, where they raised their kids on hard work and determination. Each of the children participated in the tobacco markets with them, often venturing out into going to separate markets to get as much business as they could. After years and years of hard work and raising his family, in December of 2010, John B. lost his brave battle to cancer. John B. never met a stranger and loved his friends and family deeply. His wife Marilyn knew that one day she would carry on his legacy to bring people together to celebrate love and milestones.
The John B. Thomas Gathering Place would not be anywhere if it wasn't for this amazing woman right here. When you see all the pretty pictures of the place, it is Marilyn and her daughter, Karla's hard work and dedication to make the Gathering Place special for every bride and groom. Marilyn also continues her late husbands enterprise alive through continuing the tobacco farm. She is the definition of a diligent and dedicated worker, mother, grandparent, and family member.
Whitney is our event venue manager here at John B's. She is the one you talk to for all the behind the scenes details that goes on at the farm. Whitney was the second bride to get married at this venue, following in the footsteps of her mom. She is also a full time hairstylist alongside her mom Karla, so hard work and determination definitely runs in the family. She loves hosting not only her friends and family, but any bride and groom that walks through the Gathering Place's doors.