We take the marriage relationship seriously. It's our desire to see you off to a great start, which is why we require premarital counseling before saying any “I-do’s." Look through our process and policies below, than contact us to take the first step! We look forward to hearing from you.
Frequently Asked Questions:
WHAT DO WE OFFER FOR ENGAGED COUPLES?
Premarital counseling is required for engaged couples who are being married by an FBC pastor, whether they use our facilities or are getting married elsewhere. The premarital counseling can be ours or a comparably biblical and thorough, well-balanced program through another church, such as in the locale where they each reside. The only costs are to cover our cost for two tests we administer, the TJTA® and the Prepare® Inventory. (Please reference FBC’s Wedding Policy below for further detail.)
There is a growing recognition that with guided preparation and discussion, significant marriage problems can be headed off before they occur. Well-documented statistics bear this out. The divorce rate of those who complete five sessions of premarital counseling is one-tenth that of those with no premarital counseling!
Fellowship Bible Church has long recognized the effectiveness of this principle and has designed a personalized, comprehensive premarital counseling program. We want to help you get your marriage started in the right direction. Our premarital program addresses important biblical principles so that you can “hurdle the hindrances” to an effective marriage and begin your life together on a sure and solid foundation.
HOW DO WE BEGIN PREMARITAL COUNSELING?
Contact us in the Counseling office by filling out the contact form on this page, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office at 540-662-7743. We will send you links for a premarital intake form, as well as any additional information you may need. After we receive both of your completed online intake forms, you will be scheduled to meet as a couple with the Pastor of Biblical Counseling. During the meeting, he will ask about your relationship together, your relationship with the Lord and your basic wedding plans to assure that there is nothing prohibiting FBC from assisting with your wedding. At this time you can request a particular pastor to perform the ceremony (pending his availability).
Upon satisfactory completion of the initial meeting, we will register you for two online tests which make up an important part of our premarital program: the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis® and the Prepare Inventory®.
After completing the tests, you will be matched with one of our trained premarital mentor couples who are mature Christians and members of FBC. You will meet with your mentor couple for six sessions over an approximately three month period of study. The study will include relevant Bible passages on marriage and important topics concerning the marriage commitment, as well as discussing the tests you have taken.
HOW MUCH DOES PREMARITAL COUNSELING COST?
The only cost is the amount the church is charged for you to take the tests we use, currently $85 (cash or check made payable to FBC with Premarital Counseling on the Memo line). We will register you for the online tests as soon as we receive the payment, generally at the first meeting with the Biblical Counseling Pastor.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE OF PREMARITAL COUNSELING?
Premarital counseling must be completed prior to wedding announcements being mailed. If during the counseling process the premarital mentor couple communicates concerns about your marriage or the timing of it, the pastor may delay the wedding or recommend doing so to whoever is officiating. Though this rarely happens, please realize that weddings performed by FBC pastors are contingent upon satisfactory completion of premarital counseling.
WHAT IS FBC’S WEDDING POLICY?
1. The bride, groom, or one of their parents must be a member or regular attender of FBC.
2. Both the man and woman being married must know Christ as their Savior (see Doctrinal Statement on “Man”). The marriage must comport with FBC’s Statement of Faith and Beliefs, including the Statement on Marriage and Sexuality. FBC’s Wedding Policy DOES NOT permit weddings that do not adhere to these policies.
3. FBC pastors cannot officiate a wedding where either of the parties to the wedding have been divorced if the previous spouse of the one divorced is still living, except in the case of a re-marriage of persons who had previously divorced one another and were now being reconciled to one another. (See FBC’s Policy on Divorce and Remarriage below for more details.)
4. If you hope to have an FBC pastor or use FBC facilities, wedding requests must be made at least five months in advance so that you have adequate time to complete premarital counseling and to secure your preferred date.
5. The couple must complete premarital counseling at least 6 weeks prior to their wedding date.
6. Due to the schedule of our custodial staff and the extent to which our buildings are used for ministries, we regret that FBC facilities are unavailable for weddings outside the FBC church family.
WHAT IF I WANT TO RENT FBC FACILITIES FOR MY WEDDING?
Due to a busy schedule and limited staff for special events, FBC can only be used to host weddings for members and regular attendees. We are unable to offer our facilities to those outside the church family.
If you are interested in hosting your wedding or reception at FBC, please request additional information Counseling office to begin the process of securing your event date. (Please note that the time schedule for weddings at FBC is very limited; your event must be finished and all decorations, food and wedding-related items removed from the premises by 1:00 p.m. Saturday due to worship service preparations. No exceptions.)
WHAT IS FBC’S POLICY ON DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE?
The elders at Fellowship Bible Church recognize that there are various views regarding remarriage after divorce. Godly biblical scholars and pastors do not always agree on these views.
After much study, prayer, and biblical deliberation, FBC elders have determined that because marriage ranks so highly in God’s estimation and because we believe that the Bible teaches that marriage is for life (a covenant bond broken only at death, cf., Romans 7:2-3), we cannot support remarriage after divorce. This means we are not able to provide premarital counseling or perform weddings for people who are divorced and whose spouse is still living. We do not judge those who disagree with our policy, but we must obey what we understand God is teaching us.
If a couple wishes to speak with an elder or pastor concerning this view, please call the church office to set up an appointment. A policy paper and a study guide of the biblical passages concerning divorce and remarriage will be provided, and the various views of divorce and remarriage can be discussed.
Knowing that the families of many of FBC’s elders and pastors have been painfully impacted by divorce, we do not hold this policy lightly or with a lack of love for those whom it affects. We follow it because we believe God’s Word teaches it, and our policy is to obey His Word. If we did not, we would cease to be a church whose witness is of Jesus Christ and of His Word.