Evangelical Community Ministries

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Irl Gladfelter hijacked my ceremony! Prior to the wedding he had guaranteed my husband and I that he follows a script of our choosing. We select what he says and what he doesn't and we have final approval. As neither of us are overly religious, we didn't want it too preachy. He helped us select a ceremony that we liked and then we very carefully selected the changes we wanted and sent it back to him. Our ceremony was to be short, 20-25 minutes only.

The wedding was outdoors and the day of the wedding it was approximately 95 degrees. It was so hot my Maid of Honor had to step away and get water before she passed out. Midway into the ceremony, he starts into a sermon that was not approved and that he was aware was unwelcome. I finally had the guts to stop him after he spoke about our marriage - between Heather and Jack. Too bad my husband's name is David. He advised me that the sermon is the part he never tells anyone about and didn't tell us about on purpose. The sermon ended quickly upon my insistence (during the ceremony no less). He skipped the rest of the sermon in his notes, which was approx. 2-3 pages of sermon alone. That would have been at least an additional 15 minutes in the heat. His interference was not necessary at all and it colored my enjoyment of the rest of the night. He tried explaining afterwards to my husband, my mother and my new in-laws, but everyone was aware of what we had agreed to and it didn't help at all.

I do not recommend Irl Gladfelter or Evangelical Community Ministries. Besides the script he had a few odd eccentricities, like asking all the bridesmaids and groomsmen to "bow" to him as they approached. Even at the Catholic ceremonies I have been to they never requested that. Of all the things that could have gone wrong on my wedding day - rain, tornado, bad weather, vendor no shows - it should not have been anything that was avoidable. In my eyes this was clearly avoidable and was in fact brought on intentionally by the minister.

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