Dawn and I have come to realize that our journey truly began with a prayer for her daughter Megan at the 2017 Kentucky Annual Conference. God saw it coming even when I could not. I cannot say it was fate that brought us together; however, it certainly was destiny wrapped in deep prayer. There were actually two prayers answered on that day, one on behalf of Megan, and one whispered over time in the hearts of two people who had walked through the devastating, life altering grief of deep loss. The fulfillment of our prayers took shape at 2018 Winter Blitz.
God answers prayers and performs extraordinary awe- inspiring miracles where and when we least expect them. I certainly continue to be awed by the mysterious and majestic power of God’s desire and ability to answer prayer. Again, the answers almost never come the way we expect or anticipate. Dawn and I falling in love is a perfect example.
I first began to contemplate sharing this part of our journey as a simple announcement, but the joy of Dawn’s and my relationship is anything but simple. Our journey together has been one filled with a quiet grace. It has been a beautiful gift from God. We have learned and continue to learn that “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variation or shadow…” -James 1:17.
As most of you are aware, Dawn and I became engaged on July 13, 2018. Yes, that’s right for all you superstitious aficionados, “Friday the 13th” was the day I proposed to Dawn, and she said “absolutely.” Why “Friday the 13th? Remember, “Perfect love cast out all fear.” Again, our love has been anything but conventional, predictable, or simple. It has been, and continues to be, a beautiful dance of two hearts that have discovered that they have the amazing capacity to love again.
Why “Friday the 13th? I was elected a Bishop in the United Methodist Church on July 13, 2016 and assigned to The Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary Conferences. It was here that I met and fell in love with the woman who would change my life with her deep love of Christ and the church, and of course, her deep love for me and my deep love and respect for her.
Both our hearts have been truly blessed by the love and prayers of each of you. You have walked with us through this amazing journey, and we are excited to announce plans concerning our wedding. We will be married on September 30, 2018, in a small, intimate wedding with just our families. Dawn and I have prayed daily about this, and have decided that instead of spending money on a big wedding we would like to do the following:
We would also ask that instead of wedding gifts, you make a donation in memory of Priscilla Fairley to The Pulmonary Research Department at University of North Carolina Hospital, and/or a donation to Cancer Research in memory of David Sparks.
Do not fret, however, as we are planning a big party where all our friends can join in the celebration. These details will be forthcoming. Until then, please continue to pray for us as we begin our life of discovering together the ways God will use us as disciples who change the world. Thank you for loving us both so deeply.