A St. Louis pastor is making a free Valentine's Day offer to hundreds ofcouples he has married through the years : a renewal of vows service if theyare happy, or a counseling session if they are not.
The four-hour marriage seminar and the ceremony are to be held at LifeChristian Center, where Cedric Booker is a member of the music department,next Saturday and Monday evening. "I want to do this because I feel anobligation to the couples who sought me out to marry them," said the Baptistminister who has helped more than 3,600 couples tie the knot, many at CityHall.
"I would always offer counseling before the wedding, but you can't makepeople take it," Booker told "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch." "Many coupleswould come back later. But I would also run into people at the store orsomewhere and say, 'How's that marriage?' and they'd say, 'We're nottogether anymore.' That would break my heart."
Married himself for 20 years with three children, Booker was ordained in1987 while working as a security guard at City Hall and performed manyweddings on his breaks. He still officiates at some ceremonies, but does notneed to advertise. "After you marry your first 1,000 couples, word gets yourname around," he told the newspaper.