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  • Growing up in Shelby, North Carolina, I knew at an early age that I had a deep need to have a family and children of my own. I felt that I would not be a complete person without them. I married my best friend when I was 18, and we have 2 beautiful children, Adam and Chelsea. I thought that I had everything I wanted, but after 9 years of trying to make the marriage work and living in abstinence, my wife and I divorced. I am a gay man...always have been...always knew that I was a gay man. I finally felt that there was nothing wrong with who I am despite years of being taught that everything about me was wrong.

    Today (11/10/2014) was one of the most important days in my life, equal to when my two beautiful, and now grown children were born. Today I stepped into First Congregational UCC Asheville (NC), and was welcomed with compassion as I married the man I have loved for over 17 years. I have not stepped foot into any denomination of Church in over 25 years. Today I not only stepped in, but I felt a warmth and love that I have never felt before. I cried tears of joy and relief, and I alone, accepted Jesus, who I believe loves all of his children, into my heart. Mark and I are now legally married, and no one can take that love away from us.

    My husband, Mark and I were the happiest people alive on this day! My mama and daddy were there to share in our joy, and my 21 year old daughter actually signed as a witness to our wedding! My mother-in-law also signed as a witness, and Mark and I cried the most joyful tears ever! We had three generations of family witness and support our wedding. For this, we thank Pastor Gary Mitchell and also for the reassuring comfort given to us by Drew Reisinger at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds. Asheville is an amazing place with outstanding people who genuinely care about others. We thank each one of you! Family has always been the most important thing to me and it always will be.

    Todd Wilson & Mark Edwards-Wilson
    Asheville, North Carolina
    November 2014
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