Credentials

Preacher. No one’s perfect…. #WeddingRescue

This past Saturday I had a #WeddingRescue!

At 6:15pm a Savannah Police officer called me, while I was having a quick break between weddings, at Leopold’s Ice Cream which is a Savannah staple!

He said “This is Captain so and so with the Savannah Police Department.”  My first thought was something had happened to my son.  He continued “Lt. Gunther gave me your number because the preacher for a 6pm wedding didn’t show up and he thought you could help.”

“Yes, I can, where is the ceremony?”

“Greene Square.  Let me give the phone to a person in the bridal party”

“Hello.  The preacher we hired didn’t show up can  you come and perform the ceremony?”

“Yes.  I can be there in 5 minutes.”

“Seriously?”

“I just so happen to be down the street. I’ll be right there.”

When I arrived everyone was so grateful for me showing up.  I went inside the rented home and spoke to the groom.  While doing so, word came that the “preacher” showed up at 6:30pm.  “It doesn’t matter to me who officiates your ceremony, I can stay or you can have him officiate.”  “You stay.”  So I did.

The “preacher” wasn’t a preacher.  He was an internet ordained wedding officiant.  He wasn’t a pastor of a church, nor had he ever been to seminary to study the Bible or theology.  He is recognized by the State of Georgia as clergy because of his internet ordination.   Basically: he does weddings for the money.

While working out at the local YMCA one day, about a year ago, I heard this “preacher” brag to his friend about how he gets $175 to marry people and that he could hook him up too.  “It’s easy.  You show up, read the words and you get paid.”  The “preacher” didn’t recognize me from when we worked together on a volunteer school resource team in 1995.  I was 30 then, he was about 60.

I take what I do seriously.  Have I ever been late to a wedding?  I believe twice: both times about 5-10 minutes due to traffic.  Have I ever missed a wedding?  No.  Have I ever filled in for an officiant who missed a wedding?  Dozens of times.

Even if you don’t hire myself or my company, find out the reputation of the person/company you hire.  And also see if they have a business license.

I am a pastor of a local Lutheran church, yet I still have a business license for weddings.  For me, a business license separates those who are serious and professional from those who just do it for the money.

Share your stories and your thoughts.

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