The Word of God tells all in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Just before the beginning of a new Sabbath day, on Friday evening, April 8, 2016, East Market Street Church in Greensboro, N.C., held its first Vow Renewal Ceremony. The Family Life Ministries Department, under the leadership of Karreem and Audrey Hogan, members of East Market Street Church, sponsored the beautiful ceremony. Fourteen couples, ranging from eight months to 41 1/2 years of marriage, participated in the renewal of vows.
The ceremony was officiated by Melvin Preston, South Atlantic Conference family life ministries director. He shared with and provided valuable insight to the couples. “Every now and then you have people who will come and renew their vows, and then you have others who say ‘what’s the use in renewing,’” said Preston. “People renew their driver’s license every few years, teachers and doctors renew their license, and now people come together to renew their vows to each other, and not just to each other, but to God, which should be taken seriously.” He believes that it is only “the power of God that can take two totally different individuals from different walks of life, and bring them together to live in harmony according to God’s will, working with each other and not against, for the common goal of making it to the kingdom!”
Preston’s main charge to the couples was “to continue to trust God, always put God first because God is the author of marriage.” He advised that after being married for almost 42 years, that marriage is still between a man and woman as God created in the Garden of Eden.
Kenneth Boswell, pastor of East Market Street Church, and his wife, Patricia, also shared in the occasion. Boswell charged the husbands in reaffirming their marriage, and reminded them of their commitment and love to their wives by striving to be sensitive and understanding, and to bring out the qualities of forgiveness and compassion in themselves and each other. Patricia Boswell charged the wives in recommitment to their husbands, promising to encourage, inspire, and cherish, holding them in highest regards.
After the couples recommitted themselves to each other and prayer was given, the husbands saluted their wives with hugs and kisses. As Mark 10:9 says, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
South Atlantic | May 2017