Hurricane church to recognize 50-years-plus married couples Sunday
While it’s been a half-century or more since they could be called newlyweds, several area couples are still going strong as husbands and wives.
To honor their strength, commitment and endurance, the couples, who have all been married for 50 years or longer, will be honored by the congregation of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Hurricane at MVBC’s 11 a.m. service on Sunday, July 23.
Jim and Karen Condron of Hurricane, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year, will be special honorees. The Condrons will receive a certificate. Among the other couples -- all MVBC members -- to be recognized on Sunday are:
• Charles and Barbara Murphy, 51 years of marriage
• Art and Peg Krivsky, 54 years
• John and Joan Starcher, 54 years
• Bill and Patti Kincaid, 55 years
• Bob and Sylvia Weddington, 56 years
• Joe and Ramonia Lively, 60 years
• Elvin and Faye Jividen, 61 years
• Albert and Jean Terry, 63 years
• Jay and Marilyn Samples, 68 years.
Roses will be given to each couple, with a rose boutonniere and a rose corsage for the Condrons. Honorees will also receive gold silk bookmarks bearing the words “Happy Anniversary and Congratulations on Preserving What God Hath Joined Together.”
Mount Vernon’s associate pastor of outreach and discipleship, the Rev. David White, and his wife, Connie, launched the custom of honoring 50-year-plus marriages while he was pastor at Oak Hill Baptist Church in Fayette County. The Whites marked their golden wedding anniversary last year and will be recognized for their 51-year-and-counting union on Sunday morning, as well.
“In 1996, we discovered that, 50 years earlier, in 1946, we had more marriages than ever before in the history of our country. Soldiers were coming home and marrying their sweethearts who had remained faithful to them. We also discovered we had quite a few of those couples in our congregation who had remained married,” White said of the program’s origins during his 25-year pastorate in Oak Hill, in an email. “We have since started the program at Mount Vernon, and this will be our fifth year in doing so.”
White noted that other couples who have been married for 50 years or more are welcome to attend Sunday’s service for recognition.
The pastor also reflected on how his longtime marriage and the others have been achieved.
“The obvious answer is that the couples are dedicated Christians,” White said. “However, this doesn’t mean, necessarily, that being a Christian couple automatically prevents divorce. Unfortunately, Christian couples get divorced, also. It seems almost every family has had to deal with this issue. I personally know pastors who have been divorced.
“There is no easy answer, but commitment is very much a part of the answer. Today, more and more couples are opting out of marriage to live together instead. They, therefore, figure if the relationship doesn’t work out, they can go their separate ways and start over again with someone else.
“When couples marry, divorce can be a much more difficult solution when things seem to come apart. If married couples would only realize that God is creating something special when He is invited to be a part of their relationship. When divorce becomes a reality, the couple should realize that they are destroying what God is in the process of creating when ‘two become one flesh.” That’s why we honor those who continue to preserve ‘What God Hath Joined Together,’ from Matthew 19:6.
“Those who continue to remain together do so because they never stop loving and caring for each other, serving the Lord together and taking everything to Him in prayer. As God develops a husband and wife’s relationship, they begin to exist as a unique identity – the one He designed them to become when the two were joined. There is no counterpart to it in all of creation.
“There is an awesome potential in the marriage relationship, but it’s available only when built upon the foundation of a growing relationship between husband and wife as they serve the Lord together,” White said.
He added that his sermon on Sunday morning will be based on I Peter 3:7 and titled “Heirs Together of the Grace of Life.”
Mount Vernon Baptist Church is located at 2150 Mount Vernon Road in Hurricane. Ron McClung is MVBC’s senior pastor.
For more information about Sunday’s special service, contact Pastor David White at 304-766-2924.