PRE-REQUISITES FOR A WEDDING AT GRACE BAPTIST
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT MARRIAGE
As marriage is God’s creation, we will joyfully conduct marriage ceremonies between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-25). For more information see Grace Baptist Church position paper on “Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage”.
As our mission is to make and multiply Christ followers, we reserve the right to restrict the use of our facilities to those who are Christ-followers, and intend to put God’s glory first in their marriage. We are committed to helping marriages grow strong and sharing a relationship with the Lord is central to that strength. Therefore we do not “rent for profit” the church facilities as one might rent another venue. The deposits and fees required are used to cover the basic cost incurred for the use of the facilities.
Because we have so many different ministries here at Grace we need to limit weddings on campus to members and those closely associated with Grace.
We believe that God’s design for His children is for them to marry other believers only. Consequently, it is our general practice to not be involved with weddings where only one of the couple is a Christ-follower.
We believe marriage has been ordained by God. We as a church recognize marriage as exclusively the lifetime legal union of one man and one woman in which such union continues until death of the man or the woman. Gen. 2:18-25, Matt 19:3-9, Mark 10:6-7, I Cor. 7, Heb. 13:4.
We do believe that God designed marriage for unbelievers as well, and will officiate off-site weddings where both candidates are unbelievers while understanding the privilege we have to share the Gospel with them during the pre-marital planning meetings.
We also require that any event or facility used be complementary to our mission statement and doctrinal statement.
WHO CAN PERFORM YOUR CEREMONY
We believe that marriage is a solemn covenant event before the face of Almighty God and consequently, only those men who have been duly examined and commissioned as elders, or have been licensed or ordained, by Grace Baptist Church or a like-minded church will be allowed to officiate weddings on the GBC campus.
All weddings should have the consent of the pastor performing the ceremony before a date can be finalized. At the initial meeting, the pastor will want to talk about issues like age, recent life-style, morality, financial responsibilities, length of dating relationship, parental agreement and the proper understanding of the Lord’s plan for marriage. Please contact the Pastor of your choice to set up an initial meeting.
We believe that pre-marital counseling is essential to build a strong foundation for marriage. Consequently, any couple desiring to be married at Grace, or by a Grace Elder or Pastor will be required to complete the pre-marital course offered by Grace, or in circumstances where that is not possible, an equivalent course of study approved by the officiating pastor.
SEXUAL PURITY BEFORE MARRIAGE
We believe that sexual intimacy is part of God’s design for marriage and that those who are sexually active prior to marriage bring serious harm to themselves and their marital relationship. We also understand that God is gracious, and abounding in forgiveness to those who repent and turn to Him with sincere hearts. Consequently, if couples approach us to officiate at their wedding, and are sexually active, we will ask them to separate physically for a time in order to recover a sense of purity, and deal with the significant issues that stand in the way of marital harmony and mutual respect once they do get married. When the issues have been satisfactorily worked through, the wedding can be held.
We may decline to marry a couple (or may opt to cancel a wedding) if at any point we discover that they have not given a truthful representation of their relationship, their motives, or their Christian ideals. It is best for the couple to be straightforward at the outset of our dealings together.
The couple must give sufficient advance notice of the wedding date to allow time for pastoral meeting, premarital class and adequate ceremony preparations.
The couple may be creative in their ceremony, keeping in mind that a wedding is a worship ceremony and all aspects of the ceremony should be planned in conjunction with the pastor.
We will consider remarriage if Scripture permits. This matter should be discussed with a pastor before submitting an application.