By Keshia Dawn – Dallas South News Intern
A tuxedo with tails and a sequined wedding dress (accompanied by a never ending train) readied Bishop Larry D. McGriff and his new bride, Dr. Karen Hollie to exchange a gift without receipt: A marriage full of spiritual love.
More than five hundred attendees watched the two prominent Dallas pastors join in holy matrimony. McGriff, Sr. Pastor of Church of the Living God and Hollie, Sr. Pastor of Lifeway Church, exchanged vows during a unique interfaith wedding ceremony over the weekend.
“I’m excited…I can’t believe it’s already here,” Hollie in our brief telephone conversation prior to the wedding.
In the midst of family, friends and church members, the two honorees were blessed by readings from respected and authoritative doctrines: the Christian Bible, Muslim Qur’an, Book of Mormon, and the Jewish Torah. Imam Muhammad Shakoor, and President Barry Smith of the Dallas Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were two of five clergymen who offered their blessings to the newlyweds. Other bishops, apostles and pastors were also present for the interfaith nuptials.
Judge Jeff Rosenfield conducted the ceremony and several other high ranking city officials also attended the wedding which more of a mini-gala. Mayor Tom Leppert was among city officials, as well as Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, as he rendered his services as best man.
More than twenty bridesmaids and groomsmen made up the wedding party, with the ladies wearing lengthy deep purple dresses, accompanied with strapped clutch purses of the same color. The women complemented the bride who wore a tiara which shined from across the room. Black suits and shiny shoes were a signature look for the men in what had to be the wedding of the year.
Held at the Sterling Hotel on Regal Row in Dallas, multiple video screens were used to display activity during the reception, and for those turned away from the ceremony because of an overcrowding issue.
A sword salute from young cadets greeted the bride and groom as they entered their reception. Ice sculptures, tiered wedding cakes, and buffeted cuisine were shared amongst guests who turned out to witness the ceremony of peace.
The couple offered an open invitation to wedding, which was attended by some who just happened to hear about the event. “A friend of mine told me about it, she’s downstairs waiting to get in,” one onlooker said, not knowing either of the two personally.
Proclaiming their love for one another before God and man, the two ministers were able to commemorate their union, while breaking the barrier between religions. Making history and out of the box thinking are nothing new for this couple. But now they’ll be doing it as husband and wife.
Keshia Dawn is a student at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and author of the novel His Grace, His Mercy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org