“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:7-9 (NIV)
Our pre-marital program is designed to help you and your future spouse prepare for a successful marriage. We want you to have a sound understanding of God’s design for marriage and a realistic picture of what marriage will be like. May God guide and bless you individually and as a couple as you embark on this exciting journey together!
*Please Note: Completion of our pre-marital program is required for you to have a Highlands Fellowship Church pastor officiate your wedding ceremony. Also, to ensure availability of the facilities, they must be scheduled well in advance of the event.
Specific requirements to be married at Highlands Fellowship Church
All pre-marital couples must complete an interview with a Highlands Fellowship Church pastor and receive his recommendation before participating in our six-week counseling program. In addition, the pastors of Highlands Fellowship Church have determined the following qualifications, based on Biblical truths:
- Bride and groom must individually confess a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Highlands Fellowship Church will not marry unbelievers or join an unbeliever to a believer in marriage. God’s word is clear about spiritual compatibility between marriage partners. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
- Bride and groom must abstain from physical intimacy or living together. Sex is a gift from God. He is the one who created it! Therefore, we must follow God’s directions alone regarding our sexuality. The Bible gives us clear instructions for sex within the parameters of the marriage relationship. God’s word also gives us clear warnings and consequences when sex is used outside of the marriage. (2 Corinthians 6:3)
While many of those who come to Highlands Fellowship Church are honoring God through abstaining from sexual intimacy, there are many who do not fall into this category. Couples who are physically intimate or are living together are asked to move apart and covenant with Highlands Fellowship Church to abstain from their sexual relationship until their wedding day. We would like the opportunity to encourage you to make this commitment with us, understanding that this is God’s best for your marriage relationship.
Pre-Marital Program and Wedding Information
We are excited to help you and your fiancé prepare for your upcoming marriage! Our pre-marital program includes a six week pre-marital class and a financial counseling session.
In order to begin the process, please follow these steps:
- Complete the Pre Marital Application(click the link to download a printable application). Mail the completed application to: Highlands Fellowship Church, PO Box 553, Abingdon, VA, 24212. You may also bring the completed application to the Administration Office across from the Abingdon Campus.
- Someone will contact you to set up an appointment with a Highlands Fellowship Church pastor for a pre-marital interview. Before the interview, you should print and complete all information linked below and bring it with you to the interview.
Still have questions? Check out our Q and A below!
Q: What happens at the pre-marital interview?
A: A Highlands Fellowship Church pastor will meet with the bride and groom to discuss wedding plans and answer questions. He will go over the requirements to be married by a Highlands Fellowship Church pastor.
Q: What do we talk about during the pre-marital class?
A: During the sessions, we will discuss many subjects, including God’s plan and purposes for marriage, marital roles and responsibilities, communicational skills, how to develop realistic expectations for marriage, and conflict resolution. We will also help you recognize your relational strengths and how they can benefit your marriage, and we’ll teach you how you can work to improve areas where you may need growth.
Q: Are the requirements the same if I have another pastor perform the wedding?
A: Yes, a pastor of Highlands must take part in the ceremony along with the pastor of your choice. The pastor you choose must meet Highlands Fellowship Church requirements which are: They must be an Ordained Pastor and they must meet the requirements of I Timothy 3:1-7.
Q: What should I expect from the pre-marital experience?
A: You should expect to be challenged, strengthened, educated and better prepared for your future marriage. You will be equipped with new marital skills including identified problem areas and how to make improvements; identified strong points in your relationship and how to work together to bring out the best in one another; and most importantly, a more realistic expectation of what marriage will be like!
Q: Can I have my wedding and/or reception at Highlands Fellowship Church?
A: Yes, you may use the church’s facilities for your ceremony and/or reception. You will be assigned a Highlands Fellowship Church wedding director to assist you with your preparations and during the ceremony and reception. Musicians may be provided, if they are available on the date requested, at an additional fee. Also, a qualified Highlands Fellowship soundman must be provided for the rehearsal and wedding.
Q: What’s the cost of our pre-marital program?
A: The cost is $75. (Note: Please make all checks payable to Highlands Fellowship Church.)
Q: Are there any other costs involved?
A: A detailed list of fees will be provided to you once you have chosen to utilize the Highlands Fellowship Church facilities for your ceremony and /or reception. If you choose to have one of Highlands’ pastors perform your wedding ceremony but you do not wish to use the facilities we ask that you pay all travel expenses for the pastor (i.e. food, gas and overnight lodging, if necessary). Generally speaking, the pastors will perform a ceremony within a two hour radius of the church.
Q: I still have questions . . . who do I contact?