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  • Rhonda Kelley

One Enchanted Sunday



“Some Enchanted Evening” was written by Rogers and Hammerstein in 1949 and was made popular in the movie “South Pacific.” Though Frank Sinatra and Perry Como recorded this memorable song, my husband Chuck says he sang his own version one Sunday morning in 1970. Both of us had just begun our freshman year at Baylor University. Since we were committed Christians, we went to church on that first Lord’s Day in Waco, Texas. I joined First Baptist Church that morning in August. Chuck was sitting in the balcony when I was presented to the church for membership, and he felt “led of the Lord to join that Sunday night!” He saw “that beautiful blonde across the crowded room” and he knew he wanted “to see her again and again.”


Our love story could truly be a movie script. On the occasion of our 46th wedding anniversary, Chuck and I thank God for weaving our lives together. He has truly given us a marvelous marriage and meaningful ministry. And, as Papa Kelley often said to his bride of 63 years, “We haven’t been married long enough!”


My dad first met Chuck while preaching a crusade in Beaumont, Texas. He came home and announced to me, “I have met the guy that you will marry!” What? I promptly ignored my dad’s match-making, finished my senior year of high school, and headed to college. After meeting Chuck briefly on that “Enchanted Sunday,” we were both elected to serve as officers with the Freshman Baptist Student Union: He was president, and I was vice-president. When my dad heard about our leadership positions, he quickly reminded me of his prediction that I would marry Chuck Kelley. As our friendship developed, Corrigan Weekend (a turn-about event for girls to ask guys out) provided an opportunity for a date. So, I asked Chuck out, and the rest is history! Our love story was written during our college years at Baylor.


· Chuck and I started dating our freshman year.

· We began going steady our sophomore year.

· We became “pinned” our junior year.

· We were engaged our senior year.

· And, we married after our college graduations.


June 21, 1974 was a magical day for us! Officially, June 21 is the Summer Solstice; the day when the northern hemisphere receives the most direct sunlight, causing the day to last longer than any other day in the year. Chuck says it was truly the longest day of the year since our wedding started at 8:00 p.m. But, the day was perfect! First Baptist Church New Orleans, located on historic St. Charles Avenue at that time, was filled with our beloved family and dear friends. Before God and those present, we solemnly pledged to love and honor each other “until death us do part.” The love we experienced then was only a small taste of the deep love that has grown between us in the passing years. And, our love, which is based on our mutual love for the Lord, will continue forever and ever. I am so very grateful that on that enchanted Sunday, I found my true love and have never let him go!

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