Rev. Paul M. Turner, Founding and Senior Pastor, Gentle Spirit Christian Church

Our Policy on the Sacrament of Marriage

While I am excited beyond words that marriage equality is now the law of the land, from sea to shining sea, let me assure you that Gentle Spirit Christian Church is not in any danger of becoming a Vegas-style wedding chapel.

In fact, the only thing that will change for us is that we will no longer be forced to use the phrase “holy union” to refer to the sacramental service we perform for couples entering into a holy covenant with each other and before God and their community.

Aside from that, the policy of the church will continue to be what it has always been: That for this church to officiate a wedding, a couple shall have dated for no less than one year or have lived together for no less than six months. The ceremony may then be conducted within six months after the completion of pre-marital counseling.

Of course, for those who have had previous holy unions and simply want to re-affirm their vows, exceptions to the aforementioned policy can be made.

We continue to believe in marriage and encourage loving couples to enter into the holy sacrament of marriage advisedly, with a deep and abiding love, without haste and with great care and responsibility that goes with making a lifetime commitment. May God bless this new day of responsibility for the LGBTQIA Community.

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at -- and which now resides at