Minister Twanna Gause and Pastor Vanessa Brown as of late had their wedding at the New Vision Full Gospel Baptist Church in East Orange, N.J.
Priests Levi Richards and Eugene Gathers, both of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, strolled Ms. Gause down the walkway, a part she had at first trusted would be acknowledged by her dad, the Rev. Sam Gause Sr., a Pentecostal priest who lives in Atlanta.
“She’s our profound little girl,” Bishop Richards said. Her dad, Mr. Gause, refering to “contrasts in philosophical convictions,” declined his little girl’s welcome. “My dad would not come here on the grounds that he doesn’t have faith in same-sex marriage,”
“He told me the devil tricked me into this, and that if we had been married in biblical times, we would have been stoned to death.
Ms. Brown, 46, and Ms. Gause, 45, both pastors of Rivers of Living Water United Church of Christ, heard much softer words on their wedding day while holding hands before the Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder.
Twanna and I go way, way back,” Ms. Brown said. Once upon an Amazing Grace, two choir girls met at a church in Jersey City, and before one of them could clear her throat to sing, she thought she had already caught a glimpse of heaven.
“I was like, ‘Oh wow, what in the world, who’s that, she’s beautiful,’” recalled Ms. Gause, who was then a 16-year-old living in Paterson, N.J.
“I immediately felt this kind of strange, warm feeling wash over me, and though I had not yet spoken a word to her, I could see myself loving this woman forever. My head was just spinning.”
Ms. Brown, then 18 and living in New York, was not struck by the same thunderbolt. Both grew up in religious families.