He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord
. – Proverbs 18:22 (NRSV)
When Rev. Leonard Fairley was elected bishop at the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, his college roommate’s wife, Helen Milleson, commented, “Kentucky … why Kentucky? What’s in Kentucky?”
On Sept. 30 at the wedding reception of Bishop and Dawn Fairley, Helen said she now understands the bigger plan that was in the works on that July night in 2016.
Both Bishop Fairley and the former Dawn Sparks had been widowed in the prime of their lives. Both knew great love in their former marriages, love so deep that they both knew their former spouses loved them enough to want them to know that type of love again.
As Dawn and Bishop Fairley shared with one another about their journeys through mourning and grief, it became apparent that God was bringing them together, that indeed, just as scripture tells us, mourning lasts but for a time, and Joy indeed follows.
So on Sept. 30, 2018, Dawn and Bishop Fairley became husband and wife. In a small, intimate ceremony officiated by Bishop Lindsey Davis and attended only by family and a very few friends, Dawn was escorted down the aisle by her son, Luke Sparks, as the strains of How Beautiful
by Twila Paris were sung. Megan Sparks Bracken was her mom’s Matron of Honor and Josh, Bishop Fairley’s son, was his Best Man.