A tiny church in northeast Iowa will welcome around 150 couples for its annual marriage reunion celebration this weekend.
The Little Brown Church in the Vale, near Nashua in Chickasaw County, has hosted the event on the first weekend in August for decades, though the structure itself is more than 150 years old. The church’s Eileen Haase details some of Sunday’s events.
“We start our registration at 9 a.m. and then at 10:15, we start a sing-along and at 10:30, we have our worship and they renew the wedding vows during our worship service,” Haase says, “and then we serve a lunch.” Haase says there will also be entertainment on Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m.
“Pastor Drew and his wife will be singing songs and we play games and we let the couples tell stories on how their wedding went or how they met,” Haase says. “It’s just for an hour and then we have refreshements at the end.” Hundreds of couples tie the knot every year in the quaint church, which first opened in 1864. In August of 2014, the 74-thousandth wedding was held at the historic venue.
Last year, the reunion event drew more than 120 couples who were previously married in the church — which was made famous in the hymn, “The Church in the Wildwood.” It was written by Reverend William Pitts in 1857, a few years before the church was built.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)