The story of Will and Erwynn, the first gay couple to marry on a military base:
"At church, Will and Erwynn lead me to a windowless back-room chapel that has been converted from a gym. This is the Sojourn service, a more informal worship than the one taking place in the main hall. They worry that other members of the church might not be comfortable with their presence in the regular service. The morning begins with a band playing Christian soft rock. There are no Bibles here, only thin handouts. Pastor Rick Court’s sermon, leavened with jokes and audience interaction, focuses on loving God and loving your neighbor as the most important lessons of Christianity. 'You can see why we like this place,' Erwynn whispers to me. 'This is exactly what we are trying to teach our kids.' But when I tell them I’d like to interview Pastor Rick, they pause. 'Well,' says Will, 'I guess that means we’ll have to come out to him.'
"The day before the wedding, I meet up with Pastor Rick at the Red Lion Diner in South Jersey. He was ordained by the conservative Evangelical Church Alliance. He has lived in this area all of his life. Will and Erwynn are the first congregants he’s had whom he knew were gay, but he has heard that there are others at Hope. 'I sensed that they were a gay couple right away,' he chuckles, 'although they think that they hide it pretty well.'"
PUBLISHED: July 17, 2012
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5784 words)