SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in the United States, announced today the national winners of the 2019 Longest Married Couple Project. They are DW & Willie Williams of Charlotte, NC. The Williams' were married August 17, 1937 in Newberry, South Carolina and will celebrate their 82nd anniversary this year.
Over 250 nominations were received for this year's project. The winners from individual states will be announced on June 6, 2018. This is the ninth year for the nationwide project. Starting this year the project was changed to be focused on June - National Marriage Month, so nominations were received from February 14 to May 14 this year.
"We are truly honored and privileged to recognize the Williams' for their long marriage," said Tony & Sue Morris and Fr. Tom Ogg, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. "We are excited to be able to personally recognize them on June 15th in their hometown of Charlotte," they added. The Morris' serve with Fr. Ogg, as the U.S. leadership for the marriage enrichment movement. Fr. Ogg will join the Morris' at the presentation, which will be held at the First Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte.
The Williams' were married at the courthouse in Newberry, South Carolina. The national winners have a daughter and a granddaughter.
The North Carolina couple achieved the honor of being the WWME National Longest Married Couple based on nominations submitted to Worldwide Marriage Encounter beginning in February of this year. The nomination project ended on May 14th of this year.
The WWME national leadership team pointed out that the project is based on nominations received the current year. "We realize there may be couples married longer, but we did not receive their nominations from friends or family during the nominating period, or they chose not to be recognized for their marriage achievements," they said.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter created the project to highlight marriage in America and to show young couples that marriage really can go the distance. "What a true inspiration Mr. & Mrs. Williams are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other over 81 years ago and they have kept that commitment. They truly are a sign of hope to all of us," the Morris' and Fr. Ogg said.
State winners from across the country will be presented certificates of achievement and other recognitions by Worldwide Marriage Encounter couples during the month of June, which is traditionally known as national marriage month.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 50 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. It offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today's world. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends go online to wwme.org or contact the WWME Office at 909/332-7309.
SOURCE Worldwide Marriage Encounter