19 couples to exchange vows in single ceremony!

JP: Interesting. Read on for individual testimonies!

Pastor’s challenge yields mass nuptials


Concord Missionary Baptist Church and volunteer sponsors are paying all expenses, covering gowns, tuxedos, wedding bands, decorations and 19 cakes. The church has provided counseling and is exploring overnight hotel stays for brief honeymoons.

The pastor said he long has been concerned about healthy relationships, society’s fading emphasis on marriage and couples’ willingness to cohabit without marriage. He preached a six-week relationship series for couples in the spring and a series for singles this fall.

“I read a statistic that 70 percent of engaged couples live together before marriage,” said Carter, whose wife, Stephanie, was his high school sweetheart. The Carters have three children.

“That statistic moved me,” he said. “I’ve wanted to preach on this for a long time.”

At the series’ end last month, Carter said he challenged singles in the audience who are living together but not married. He invited them to meet with him after church to discuss honoring God by getting married. He said the church and volunteers would pay all expenses – which he said totaled just under $10,000, about $500 per couple. Forty couples responded; 19 completed counseling and will marry Sunday.

Church website

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