And it came to pass, when graduating college seniors go forth to find a job, that I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the Spring of 1969, pastor Sam Peterson had invited me to interview for the position of Associate Pastor at the Milwaukee Gospel Tabernacle. Since my portfolio would include music, education, youth, and whatever else, Pastor took Saturday to explain my duties.
On Sunday morning, we toured the Sunday School while it was in session. Of particular interest to me was the youth Bible class. The students were attentive, and the curriculum looked fine. But the teacher, Sue Carter, was amazing!
After assuming my duties, I contacted Miss Carter for a romantic evening with the teenagers at a youth rally. Actually, it was not romantic at all, considering that the youth were all goofy about Sue and me being on a date. And that was just the beginning of their comical kibbitzing.
It was apparent that the youth group loved Sue and was suspicious of the intentions of the young Texas minister. Over time, Sue and I became great friends and soon our relationship deepened into committed love.
In December 1970, Sue said “yes” to my proposal of marriage, and we called her folks in Kansas for their blessing. Then, we shopped for a ring.
May 1, 1971, we celebrated our wedding with a candlelight ceremony. My Dad and Pastor Peterson officiated our vows, and my brother Douglas was Best Man. When she came down the aisle, Sue took my breath away, and still does. After a blur of a reception, we were off to our honeymoon in Niagara Falls, NY.
Over the next six years, two wonderful daughters were born into our home. Stacie and Melissa have brought joy, delight, and boundless love that has enriched our lives. Now they are married to two incredible young men, Gregg and Phillip, and have enhanced the treasure of our family with the addition of five awesome grandchildren: Grant, Preston, Claire, Colin, and Austen.
Sue has joined me in ministry in Wisconsin and Texas. As the wife of a pastor, Sue was beloved in each congregation. Her counsel, teaching, and relational skills greatly improved our efforts to uplift local churches. Young mothers, especially, have sought her insight and guidance in making a house a home. We have traveled throughout the USA and internationally with stops in Europe and the Mid-East to name a few.
Now, we gather with our family to celebrate our Golden Anniversary. It is hard to believe that 50 years have past since we said “I do.” We have laughed together in many joyful moments, grown closer in adversity, prayed together in crisis, and proved that with Christ, love can survive whatever life throws at you.
Thank you, Sue, for being my wife, partner, lover, and best friend. I love you! On to the next 50!