Sprinklers inside Braden’s Furniture Warehouse alerted local fire departments of a fire in the building that housed the inventory for Braden’s Lifestyle Furniture. When the fire department contacted Gary Braden, there was nothing he could do but wait, just wait. Reports continued of a 5-alarm fire, total loss, firefighters being overcome with smoke. The negative news continued past Gary arriving on the scene, “this is it, no coming back from this”, he reflected on the thoughts passing through his mind.
There is a place, a few different locations inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where a peace that passes all understanding can be found while soaking in the sunshine or shade listening to the water flow over the rocks. Gary Braden is familiar with that sound, that peace and regularly finds that place to decompress, pray and rest his mind. It is a building of faith which lays the foundation for him to handle whatever comes into his path.
Challenges are not rare for Gary Braden, he has met each one with the same approach since 1976 when he joined the family business, Braden’s Furniture, then located in downtown Knoxville. Founded by McKinley Braden in 1956, his wife Mildred was the designer with Gary starting at 15 years of age in the warehouse, the business enjoyed huge success in retail and wholesale furniture sales.
It was a staple of the downtown Knoxville landscape with customers from all over the country shopping the large orange building, a paint scheme designed by McKinley Braden when Gary signed to play football at the University of Tennessee. The closure of the interstate for two years caused a great hardship on the company, forcing the move of operations to a location outside of the downtown area.
There have been many struggles in the past years, many “it’s all over now” moments and that is where in 2011, standing outside of the warehouse in Maryville, Gary Braden found himself again… the non recoverable point for the family business. Then it was over, all of a sudden it was just smoke, it was over and not a total loss. The exact same service vehicle that caused the fire had for unknown reasons also been located in a strategic spot halting the flames. It was a miracle, no other explanation possible.
Moments of despair changing to moments of triumph is the testimony of Gary Braden, he is a book of miracles, each chapter equally amazing with so much of the book still unwritten. This year, marks 62 years of business, now located in Turkey Creek, Braden’s Lifestyle Furniture continues the tradition of quality and value. The family business is strong, the foundation of faith is firmly rooted in Romans 8:28, Gary Braden knows his love for God causes all things to work together for good, so he works daily on the legacy purposed for his life.
Did you know that for every mattress sold at Braden’s Lifestyles Furniture, a mattress is donated to a child in need? Together with Knoxville non-profit Feeding the Orphans, we are carrying out this great effort in Project Ghana! Ask one of our sales associates for more info!