Community Living | Coupon | Police Scanner | E-News Signup | Archives | Merchant Directory | Dining Guide
Have a HOT TIP? Call 704-276-6587 Or E-mail us At
Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : religion : e-religion December 10, 2019

11/2/2019 12:11:00 AM
The Wedding

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

I remember this event like it happened yesterday, even though it took place over 30 years ago. I was only 25 years old and had just graduated from seminary. I was the pastor of a small church in Virginia and was learning all the ins and outs of being a pastor. I had been asked by a couple in the Church to perform their wedding and I had agreed. This was not my first wedding service.

When I was in North Carolina I had performed a few weddings and I knew about the importance of premarital counseling and making sure that the couple understood the importance of the spiritual, physical and financial parts of marriage. I figured these principles would also apply in Virginia. After the counseling sessions were completed, all that was left was the wedding.

4 - Crouse UMC Christmas Bazaar 2019

The couple was elderly and they wanted to be married in the home where they were going to live. On the day of the wedding I arrived 45 minutes early to meet their families and fill out the required paperwork to make the marriage legal in the eyes of the state, or commonwealth, as is the case in Virginia. I had filled out marriage licenses in North Carolina, and the license for Virginia didn’t look any different, at first.

You see, in the state of North Carolina, a minister must be ordained to perform a ceremony. I thought that same rule would apply in Virginia. As I was filling out the license I read something that informed me of something different. One of the questions was: In what county are you licensed to perform weddings? Licensed? No one told me I had to be licensed in a county of Virginia to marry couples, and 40 minutes before my first wedding in Virginia was not a fine time to find out! As I was holding that license in my hands I could feel the terror fill up inside my heart and spread to the rest of my body. What was I going to do? I am going to be honest, the first thought that ran through my mind was to pass over that part of the license and not say anything to the couple. They were elderly and probably wouldn’t care if the commonwealth of Virginia didn’t recognize them as husband and wife. But I knew that would be wrong so I calmly asked someone for a phone book and the name of the Baptist preacher in the next town. The person asked me if everything was o.k. and I reassured them that all was fine. No sense in everybody being upset at me, and if I could talk this minister whom I didn’t know to come over and make the wedding pronouncement I would get myself out of this mess. I called him and explained my situation. I told him he had about 25 minutes to get over to the house and save me from a world of embarrassment. Believe it or not, he came. I performed the entire service and at the end of the ceremony he stood forward and said, “I pronounce you husband and wife.” He signed the license and the couple did not have to live “in sin.” That next week I went to the Lunenburg County Courthouse and was licensed to perform marriages in Virginia.

What did I learn from my Virginia experience? First, things in Virginia are different than in my home state of North Carolina. Second, anyone can be tempted to do the wrong thing to avoid embarrassment. Third, don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone you don’t know. Fourth, it is possible to be responsible for something you know nothing about! Fifth, not knowing all the facts can be disastrous. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This fact is the difference between eternity with Christ or eternity without Christ. Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!

Have Us E-mail You The Latest News
Click Here

Your #1 Local Source for News, Sports, Opinion, Obituaries, Religion, Classifieds, Events, Photos, Community, Coupons, and more!

Serving Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston and Cleveland counties including the areas of Lincolnton, Denver, Maiden, Stanley, Alexis, Vale, Crouse, Iron Station, High Shoals and Cherryville.

Not a newspaper, not a magazine, we’re online – on your computer at home or work, on your smartphone… with news and more 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year including holidays.

To Make Sure You Always
Get The Latest Updates,
If You Haven’t Already:

Like Our Facebook Page and
Click On SEE FIRST at

Also Follow Us On Twitter 

1 - Erie Insurance 500

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

North Carolina News


HomeNewsState NewsReligionOpinionSportsObituariesExtrasCommunityClassifiedsSubmitLife

Terms and Use | Merchant Directory | Dining Guide
Site Design and Content
Copyright Lincoln Herald, LLC 2011-2019


Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved