2016-06-30
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Excerpted with permission from Charisma News Service.

A St. Louis pastor is making a free Valentine's Day offer to hundreds of couples he has married through the years : a renewal of vows service if they are happy, or a counseling session if they are not.

The four-hour marriage seminar and the ceremony are to be held at Life Christian Center, where Cedric Booker is a member of the music department, next Saturday and Monday evening. "I want to do this because I feel an obligation to the couples who sought me out to marry them," said the Baptist minister who has helped more than 3,600 couples tie the knot, many at City Hall.

"I would always offer counseling before the wedding, but you can't make people take it," Booker told "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch." "Many couples would come back later. But I would also run into people at the store or somewhere and say, 'How's that marriage?' and they'd say, 'We're not together anymore.' That would break my heart."

Married himself for 20 years with three children, Booker was ordained in 1987 while working as a security guard at City Hall and performed many weddings on his breaks. He still officiates at some ceremonies, but does not need to advertise. "After you marry your first 1,000 couples, word gets your name around," he told the newspaper.

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