Our Story


My husband and I met on a blind date for lunch and it went so well that we had our second date later the same day!  That evening, he took me to an open field in McKinney, pulled out a drawing, and with great excitement, vividly described a village he intended to build there called Adriatica.  As we neared the lake, he suddenly stopped, turned to me and just stared at me for a very long moment. The next words I heard caught me by surprise as he said, "The place we are standing is where the chapel will be built, and I want to be the first to be married there.."  Though I laughed at his audacity, somehow we both knew in that moment, we were destined to spend the rest of our lives together.


We were married October 6, 2005, on the site of the future chapel and during our small ceremony, we placed a Bible beneath an altar of loose stones as we vowed to build our marriage on the foundation of God's Word.


In the months and years following, we made many trips to Croatia and Italy selecting the perfect building materials until finally, in November 2010, our little chapel was complete and we were able to fulfill his dream...and mine. Time stood still as the doors to the sanctuary opened and I locked eyes with the handsome man waiting for me at the altar!  I felt like a real princess as I began the breathtaking walk down the aisle to renew our 

wedding vows. I reflected how the place we were standing was just above the Bible we had placed in the foundation during our ceremony 5 years earlier.  Little did I know then of the hundreds of couples who would also stand in the same place of faith, hope and love, making vows to one another as we did, while standing on that same sure foundation of God's Holy Word!


Bella Donna has been a blessing in my life in many ways. I've prayed there, sometimes cried, and often rejoiced there. It's a joy to invite others into this place that is so special to me. Whether it's the beginning of a new life together, renewing vows already made or honoring the life of a lost loved one, I welcome you to encounter life's defining moments at Bella Donna Chapel.


                                                                                                  -Donna Blackard