Spiritual Basis

It is my desire as a minister that couples have the best possible start in the most important earthly relationship they will ever enter into. God created man and woman from the beginning, and He intended they be joined in marriage so that each might give to one another what the other lacked. Since God designed the marriage relationship, it makes sense that He knows best how to build a happy marriage.

His Word contains basic principles, which should be applied when building a fulfilling marriage. The following General Requirements and Covenant are offered as my sincere attempt to comply with God’s principles for marriage.

In His Love,

Rev. Mark Massey

Premarital Counseling

Is Premarital Counseling for you? The answer is YES. Before we embark on a long trip, we fill up our gas tank, check the tires, check the oil, and make sure our automobile is in good shape for the journey. Getting married without Premarital Counseling is like starting out on an important journey without doing any preparation at all.  

  • Half of all marriages end in divorce, and only half of those that endure are truly happy in      the long run.
  • Many engaged couples assume that they won’t be a part of that statistic.
  • If you just "wing it" and count on your luck to make your marriage a success, your odds are only one in four.
  • Just a little effort now can make your odds a whole lot better over the long run.

You want to do everything you can to ensure that your dreams of a great marriage and a great life are realized.

Six sessions of Premarital Counseling are required for couples who have never been married.

More sessions may be required for couples where one or both parties have been divorced or the couple is living together. Rev. Massey will make a determination on a case by case basis. Rev. Massey will provide the professional counselor and the wedding couple will pay for the counseling.

In cases of financial difficulty, financial help is available to help a couple pay for counseling when a real need is verified. It should be noted that if a couple has financial difficulty but can rent a hall, pay for a rehearsal dinner, send out invitations, rent and buy wedding clothing....etc but  "cannot" find the resources to fund premarital counseling, something may be wrong in the area of priorities.  

It is Rev. Massey's belief that the best financial investment for a good home is the money spent for premarital counseling not the money spent for dresses, tuxedos, food, hall rental, and wedding invitations. The wedding couple should be aware that Premarital Counseling will be costly, time consuming, and worth it.

After all Premarital Counseling is complete, Rev. Massey will meet with the couple as needed to review the counseling and inform the couple of any important findings and recommendations made by the professional counselor. It is at this point that the couple can decide if the wedding should still take place.  This is the reason that no wedding service, arrangements or invitations should be planned or sent until premarital counseling is completed.

Sexual Purity

Couples must remain celibate and not live together at any time prior to the wedding ceremony. Rev. Massey will not perform the ceremony if the couple is living at the same address. If you are currently living together you must move to separate addresses and remain celibate in order for Rev. Massey to give consideration to your wedding ceremony and plans  (James 3:1).

Church Attendance

Couples will cultivate a support system by faithfully attending worship services and joining a small group so they can grow in their relationship with Christ and with other Christians.

Divorce & Remarriage

It should be noted that Rev Massey believes that the standard for all questions regarding marriage and family is the Bible not current trends or culture. Divorced persons may be considered for remarriage by Rev. Massey if they meet one of these Biblical criteria:

  • The divorce occurred because of sexual unfaithfulness by former spouse (Matt. 19:3-9)

  • Divorce occurred prior to conversion (2 Cor. 5:17)

  • The former spouse is deceased (Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:39)

  • Desertion by an unbelieving former spouse (1 Cor. 7:15)

  • An unbelieving former spouse initiated the divorce (1 Cor. 7:12-15)

  • Former believing spouse initiated the divorce and has remarried

  • Remarriage to a former spouse who has not been married to another person since your divorce of that spouse (Deut. 24:1-4)

Extenuating circumstances that are reviewed and acknowledged by Rev. Massey.

Rev. Massey will not participate in a wedding ceremony if either the bride or the groom has not been officially, legally divorced for at least two years.


Rev. Mark Massey: $150.00 (at FBC)      Away from FBC $200.00 (within central Maryland)

Musicians & singers: $50.00 each

Sound Technician: $50.00

All honorariums shall be paid at the wedding rehearsal. All checks should be made out to the person not the church.

Church Use Fees

If the wedding takes place at FBC, the following fees apply and a Building Use Application must be obtained from the Church Office (410) 442-5506.

Member use fee: $0.00

Non-member use fee: $350.00

Cleaning fee (applies to all): $150.00

Wedding Bulletin

FBC will gladly assist in producing the wedding bulletin by copying and folding it after it is published in its final form by the wedding couple.

Marriage License

In Maryland, a marriage license must be obtained in the county in which the couple will be married. Friendship Baptist Church is located in Howard County.

Photography & Video

It is the responsibility of the couple to secure a photographer and/or someone to video the wedding ceremony. Because the wedding ceremony is a worship service, no flash photography will be allowed during the wedding ceremony.

Premarital Covenant

Pastor’s Massey's Covenant

To promote God’s plan for marriage, I covenant to:

  1. Follow God’s plan for marriage as found in Scripture, and implement these General Requirements for the couple I marry.

  2. Teach and counsel that sexual intimacy is a God-given blessing for a married man and woman only, and that any sexual intimacy outside of marriage is a sin and will cause subsequent relationship difficulties. (1 Cor. 6:18-20, Heb. 13:4)

  3. Teach and counsel this couple, if necessary, that reconciliation with God, each other, and any one else, should be the first priority in restoring sexual purity within this relationship (2 Cor. 5:18; 1 John 1:9).

  4. Cultivate a support system by encouraging this couple to faithfully attend worship services at a church that honors Jesus Christ and by helping them find a small group where they can grow in their relationship with Christ, and with other Christians.  (Hebrews 10:25)

Signed                                                                                                                      Date         

Couple’s Covenant

To prepare ourselves for a marriage according to God’s plan, we covenant to:

  1. Submit to God’s plan for marriage as found in Scripture, and to adhere to these General Requirements for marriage.
  2. To honor God and each other and remain celibate and not to live together at any time prior to the wedding ceremony. (1 Cor. 6:18-20, Heb. 13:4)
  3. If necessary, to seek reconciliation with God, each other, and any one else, to restore sexual purity within this relationship (2 Cor. 5:18; 1 John 1:9).
  4. Cultivate a support system by faithfully attending worship services at a church that honors Jeus Christ and by joining a small group where we can grow in our relationship with Christ, and with other Christians. (Hebrews 10:25)

Signed                                                                                                                      Date                                     

Signed                                                                                                                      Date                                     


[Jesus said], “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  – Matthew 19:4-6

Couples need to complete the Premarital Information Form. Please click the attached button to open a PDF file of Pastor Mark Massey's Pre-Marital Counseling Requirments and Pre-Marital Counseling Information Form.

Click Here For A Printable PDF File Of Pre-Marital Counseling Guidelines For Pastor Mark Massey

  May 2021