Elyria OH couplesELYRIA, Ohio—When Patrick Odle, pastor of First Baptist Church, preached on marriage recently, he had five rows of living examples to draw from. Seated in front of him were over 100 individuals who have been married 50 years or more. As these seniors came into church that morning, the women received a corsage, and the men, a boutonniere, as one way to honor them during the service.

Pastor Odle had the couples share words of insight—things that contribute to a long marriage. Several of them mentioned the importance of being in the same faith. A few mentioned giving in to each other, while others said they got to 50+ years because they took their marriage vows seriously; they viewed their marriage as being for life. Others demonstrated that humor is an important ingredient: Dave Connolly joked, “Do everything she says and do it now!” Bill and Marilyn Sutton laughed together when she answered, “You go first.” But Bob Clark may have summarized it best when he said, “Follow what the Book teaches. There are no second chances.”

After the service, many of those honored got together for brunch and fellowship at the Oberlin Inn near the Oberlin College campus.

The 45 couples and 16 widows or widowers honored were Ray & Marilyn Anglea (59 years), James Arp (51), Ernie & Evelyn Barnett (60), Juergen & Elli Beetz (57), Paul & Maggie Blackburn (64), Mary Buckholz (57), Gilbert & Helen Byers (57), Glen & Lorna Carey (52), Orval & Marlyn  Carr (59), Bob & Alice Fay Clark (50), Dave & Diane Connelly (51), Jess & Willa Conrad (53), Madelyn Cox (58), Fred & Ina Culler (55), Dave & Glenna Curry (53), Don & Carol Czarnecki (54), Bill & Lois Ensley (55), Ron & Nancy Everett (50), Ned & Joan Fertig (57), Shirley Flood (53), Richard & Sharon Focht (51), Bill & Nina Forsythe (67), Phyllis Giesel (66), Craig & Shirley Golden (50), Sam & Betty Gray (63), Gary & Connie Harris (50), Bill & Betty Hempel (54), Bill & Joann Hewitt (55), Catherine Hoagland (54), Joan Hutter (53), Lois Inman (63), Dave & Nancy Joviak (51), Rosalie King (56), Joyce Lind (63), Glenn & Ivory Mannon (52), Braskie McDonald (53), Joe & Faith Meade (51), Dale & Catherine Morrow (54), Wes & Barb Mueller (60), Ralph & Joyce Pierce (59), Ray & Mary Lou Pycraft (66), Phil & Pat Roose (54), Nancy Riedel (55), David & Charlene Searles (50), Jim & Barbara Shehan (50), David & Lynn Shonk (54), Russ & Reba Staffeld (52), Ken & Mary Louise Starett (61), Carol Strouse (50), Bill & Marilyn Sutton (55), Paul & Pat Tanner (51), Iris Tewksbury (53), Earl & Alma True (50), Roger & Sharron Vanek (50), Charles Vinson (64), Glen & Joy Weber (54), Ken & Linda Wells (51), Jack & Carol Wilcox (57), John & Willie Mae Williams (60), Ron & Virginia Williams (63), and Jean Woodyard (56).

Congratulations to those from First Baptist and all our churches who have remained married for five or more decades!

  • For more on marriage, order Marriage, a Bible study by David and Carolyn Culver.