The Marriage Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Marriage Hall of Fame.  Our first couple has been married 67 years!  They have 5 children and have had a life filled with triumphs and trials—he was president of the United States, and they lost a young daughter to cancer.

George and Barbara Bush lead our marriage hall of fame along with a couple who shared one heartbeat as they died holding hands; a couple who cemented their love with 1,000 love letters, a young couple who loved unto death; and a couple living today who have survived what real life has dealt them.

What does it take to get into the Marriage Hall of Fame?  Well you don’t have to be rich, famous or beautiful.  It takes something much more special than that—commitment.

1. George and Barbara Bush—Married, 1945

A Love that Has Endured

They say it was love at first sight.  He was 17; she was 16.  They met at a high school dance and married four years later.  The Bush’s life took them around the world, with a four-year stay at the White House amid the adventure. They also experienced great sadness.  They lost one of their six children, Robin, to cancer when she was four years old.

What made their marriage last?

“I think we grew together. I think that when you have a child die and you survive, and you’ve been through a war and you survive, and you build a business and you survive, you either grow apart or together. We always turned to each other.” –Barbara Bush

2. Gordon and Norma Yeager—Married, 1939-2011, 72 Years

One in Life, One in Death

It was a small, Iowa wedding.  The bride, Norma, had graduated high school that very day.  Her groom, Gordon, was a 22-year-old welder.  Over the next seven decades they had three children and built a life filled with family and friends.  Then, they were in a car crash. They lay unresponsive in the intensive care unit, side-by-side holding hands.  When Gordon stopped breathing, the nurse looked at his heart monitor.  It was showing a heartbeat.  Then she looked at the couple’s hands which were still together.  Norma’s heart was beating through him. Norma died one hour later.

What made their marriage last?

“They believed in marriage. They chose each other and once they had committed, that was it.” –Dennis Yeager, son of Gordon and Norma Yeager

3. John and Abigail Adams, Married, 62 Years

1,000 Love Letters Tell Their Story

“My Dearest Friend,” so began one of the more than 1,000 letters John and Abigail Adams wrote to one another.  Those letters tell of a love story between the second President of the United States and his wife; one of mutual respect, trust and devotion.  Even though, upon first meeting Abigail, John wrote in his diary, “Not fond, not frank, not candid,” they eventually began a love story and marriage that would last more than 50 years.

What made their marriage last?

“…Should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.” –Abigail Adams, to her husband, John

4. Jeremy and Melissa Camp

Young Love Faces Ultimate Adversity

Jeremy Camp was leading worship when he looked into the crowd and saw Melissa.  He fell in love.  Months later, Melissa was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  After her treatment, she and Jeremy married, but on their honeymoon, she became ill.  She died a short time later at the age of 21.

What made their marriage last?

“I was in awe of this woman who obviously loved Jesus so much.” –Jeremy Camp

5. Margaret and Don Pownell

Still in a Double Bed

She was a bright-eyed brunette, a beautiful West Virginia girl, full of fun.  He was from a town down the road, an energetic, handsome West Virginia boy who had met his match.  They married in 1970 and are now enjoying their two grown children and grandchildren.  But along the way, they have faced the challenges of life: career setbacks, financial hurdles, and health scares.  But they still crave each other’s company, work together to help others, and, yes, they still choose to sleep in a double bed.  They are not a famous couple, but they are a real couple who inspire those around them.

What has made their marriage last?

“Putting God first and communication have been the center of our life.  When you can communicate in the right way, everything is easier.” –Margaret Pownell


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