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Couples renew vows, marry on Valentine’s Day

Pastor Jack Pope marries Johnny Johnson and Sandra Steward on Valentine's Day.Five couples renewed their vows and another was married at New Life Church by Pastor Jack Pope on Valentine’s Day.

There was Ralph and Pamela McCormick, who attend services at the church on N. SR 121 and celebrated their 50th anniversary last month.

Together they have five children, seven grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many, many memories.

How did they make their marriage last five decades?

“Mainly it’s been our trust in the Lord,” said Mr. McCormick before the vow renewal ceremony with four other couples. “We’ve had lots of serious ups and downs, but both of us hung onto the Lord, so it has been easy to forgive one another.”

“And never go to bed mad,” added Mrs. McCormick.

Pastor Pope and other congregates opened the 7 pm evening service with several praise and worship songs. That was followed by a message from the pastor about the roles of men and women in the household and some do’s and don’ts for marriage according to scripture.

“You can’t go into marriage with the idea that it’s a 50-50 partnership,” said Mr. Pope. “You have to go into marriage understanding that you’re going to give 100 percent and you’re not going to hold anything back.

“As soon as you begin to give less than that, someone is going to feel cheated ... Effective communication can only occur when two people completely understand one another’s needs, desires and dreams. If you’re not talking to one another, I want you to know the devil’s going to talk to you both.”

After dating on and off for 26 years, Johnny and Sandra Johnson of Sanderson decided to tie the knot last week at New Life.

They obtained a marriage license the previous week and were planning courthouse nuptials, that is until they saw New Life Church’s Valentine’s Day flyer.

“It was great,” said Mr. Johnson, 45, of the ceremony. “I loved it. It was very nice.”

The couple is in the midst of starting an auto-transport business and buying a home together, so a traditional wedding and honeymoon will have to wait.

Mrs. Johnson, 44, said they met shortly after high school when she was working at an apartment complex and Mr. Johnson came in to rent a unit.

“I thought he was a very nice guy,” she said.

Mr. Johnson’s first impression of his future wife was a little different.

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