Wedding Information & Forms

Marriage Policy

Marriage is not an institution created by man, but by God. Genesis 2:21-24 states, So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. {22} And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. {23} And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." {24} For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ reaffirmed the sacredness of marriage by referring to the above text and stating that "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Matthew 19:6)

As the creator of people and of marriage, God knows what is best for a successful and fulfilling marriage. It is to the Bible that we look, therefore, to discover what the plan of God is for marriage. Our goal is to discover and follow God's will in marriage. As a church, we seek to have the highest regard for this institution that is sacred by virtue of its being God's creation. It is understood that people do not have to come to a church to be married. The state can provide the contractual agreement necessary to make a man and woman husband and wife. However, the state and the church view marriage very differently. For this church, marriage by the church is not simply a means to providing a beautiful ceremony at which the minister presides. It is a holy event which calls upon the Creator God to superintend and to bless. It is the recognition of His word. Marriage is an act of worship meant to glorify God, not just a legally binding ceremony. Marriage is the coming together of two lives under God in a covenant relationship in obedience to the Bible till death does them part.

Therefore, with a deep sense of reverence toward the Lord and humility toward men, the following matters need to be considered by the couple requesting marriage:

I. WEDDING FORMS

A set of forms that are obtainable through the church office should be completed as soon as the couple determines that they desire to be married in the Gibson City Bible Church. The submission of these forms only initiates the process of moving toward a wedding ceremony in the Bible Church. The submission of the form is not an automatic approval of the date and the ceremony. The date must be cleared through a building usage committee and the processes involved in this policy must be fulfilled.

Please submit your initial request for Wedding information below:

II. WEDDING DATES

Every effort will be made to provide the church building to the couple on the date that they choose for their wedding. However, there are certain precedents that may prevent use of the church building on a given date. It is up to the couple to check with the Administrative Assistant concerning available dates. It is requested that Saturday weddings which include receptions at the church take place no later than 4:00 p.m. Receptions may be held at the church provided they fit within the parameters of this policy (see below)

III. PERFORMANCE OF WEDDINGS WITHIN THE GIBSON CITY BIBLE CHURCH

The actual building housing the Gibson City Bible Church is not the "house of God" in the sense that God lives there. However, it is a facility set aside for public worship and is meant to be an instrument to be used to the glory of God. What does take place there should reflect our belief in Who God is and what He is like. The following restrictions in no way mirror an attitude of arrogance on our part, but rather, an effort to honor the Lord in our conduct concerning these matters.

1. Pastor's Services: The pastors of this church are the only ones authorized to arrange weddings. If a family desires to ask another clergyman to assist in the service, such a request will be made known to the GCBC Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor reserves the right to approve/disapprove the selected outside clergy. Adequate and biblical pre-marital counseling must be demonstrated to have taken place if GCBC staff does not provide that counseling.

2. Music: Music used should be consistent with the spiritual nature of Holy Matrimony. The use of the GCBC sound system requires the use of a GCBC sound technician. That technician must be in attendance at the wedding rehearsal.

3. Receptions: Wedding receptions may be held in the church. The reception shall be limited to the café and narthex areas only. The Administrative Assistant keeps the master schedule and MUST be contacted concerning reception dates.

A. Wedding parties may use GCBC tables, chairs, coffee makers, punch bowls, cooking and serving utensils during receptions.

B. The narthex, café, library, reception desk, worship center, kitchen, and all other rooms must be placed back in their original set-ups following weddings and receptions. Arrangements must be made with the church custodian to insure everything is set back in place following the wedding/reception. Arrangements must be made with a GCBC sound tech for platform tear down and set up. These arrangements can be made through the church office.

C. All items brought for decorations must be taken from the church following the wedding/reception unless prior arrangements have been made through the church office. This includes floral decorations. We have very limited storage capacity at the church.

D. The church will not provide paper products and food stuffs (including coffee, tea, sugar or cream). Please do not use the church's paper products.

4. Ushers: The Wedding Party is requested to furnish at least two of their people to act as ushers to direct guests to their seats. The seating capacity of our auditorium is 500.

5. Pictures: Photographers are expected to work in coordination with the officiating pastor. Photography from the audience is prohibited unless specified otherwise by the bride and groom.

6. Smoking: Guests are asked to refrain from smoking anywhere inside the church.

7. Alcohol: The use of alcohol is prohibited in and around the building.

8. Rice: The throwing of rice is prohibited. Bird seed is welcomed, but restricted to the outside of the building.

9. Flowers: The florist should coordinate with the church Administrative Assistant when flowers are to be delivered. Flower petals strewn down the aisle must be silk.

10. Remuneration's: Compensations are to be made at the time of the rehearsal. Please see the following attached sheet for guidelines concerning payments.

11. Wedding Coordinators: It is recognized that wedding coordinators can and do perform a valuable service. They must be put in contact with the pastor no later than a month before the ceremony. The officiating pastor maintains the right to write the basic wedding service and officiate at the rehearsal.

12. Changing rooms: It is possible to arrange certain rooms in the building to be used as dressing/changing rooms. Please note that the church does not own dressing mirrors. It is requested that food not be brought into the changing rooms. These must be arranged for prior to the day of the wedding.

II PROHIBITIONS OF MARRIAGE IN THE GIBSON CITY BIBLE CHURCH FACILITIES

The following may hinder us from performing a public ceremony:

1. Any couple living together and/or actively engaging in sexual activity and who are unwilling to break off that relationship. Couples living together will either be asked to separate or to be married immediately in a private ceremony. Those engaged in immorality will be asked to repent. A pregnant bride may be asked to have a private ceremony.

2. Any couple of which one does not profess to know Christ. It is NOT enough to make a profession simply to get married. Marriage is a bonding together physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A lack of the essential building block of marriage (spiritual) is counter to all this church believes and teaches. The Scripture does directly address this issue.

3. Divorce which is counter to Biblical guidelines. Any person wishing to be married who has been divorced needs to be willing to discuss that divorce with the officiating pastor. This does not mean the pastor needs to know explicit details, but reasons for the divorce need to be established.

4. Obvious incompatibilities. The officiating pastor may determine from counseling that couple that they should either wait or indefinitely postpone their marriage.

III. PASTORAL COUNSELING

Couples wishing to be married must become involved in pastoral counseling. The amount of counseling involved and the times when the counseling takes place shall be arranged at the discretion of the pastor in cooperation with the couple. Please note that the pastor is not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a professional therapist. His counseling will reflect a strong emphasis on what the Scripture has to say about marriage. The counseling will normally cover topics such as communication, finances, what the Bible teaches about marriage, and other pertinent topics.