Pictured Above: Immanuel Pastor Jeremy and Lauren Holley are pictured with workshop leaders Jeff and Debby McElroy from Knoxville, Tennessee.
PACE–A two-day conference for married couples to laugh and interact with their spouses while hearing honest insight into issues they often face drew more than 200 participants to Immanuel Baptist Church in Pace.
The “Marriage Tune-Up” event held Jan. 21-22, featured speakers Jeff and Debby McElroy from Knoxville, Tennessee.
“We had 101 couples from around the region coming together to celebrate God’s gift of marriage. I have no doubt that marriages were strengthened, Jesus was exalted, and God was glorified,” said Immanuel Pastor Jeremy Holley.
One attendee said, “We laughed a lot, and at times got teary-eyed, but most importantly, we left feeling reconnected and reminded of God’s desire for our marriage and the impact our marriage can have on our own lives, our children and the community.”
From newlyweds to couples who have been married for years, the McElroys provided an experience that will have a lasting impact for those in attendance.
“I’ve been to numerous conferences and this one was personal, unique and surprisingly informative,” said Matt Cotten, pastor of Avalon Baptist Church in Milton. “They gave good ideas on how to speak with your spouse about difficult topics.”
Cotten said the day after the conference, he received a call from the husband of a couple who have been married for decades. “He thanked me for inviting them and said that they really needed to hear what was said, it will help their marriage.”
With sessions on communication, conflict, intimacy and spiritual unity, the McElroys spoke on topics that touch all marriages.
Another participant said, “We felt like the McElroys were talking directly to us. They were spot on with pointing out our shortcomings as individuals but gave us tools to surpass them and come together with God as our firm foundation.”
“My wife and I have been married for 30 years and felt like they were speaking straight to us,” said Pastor Bob Govoni of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Pensacola. “As a pastor and prison chaplain, I’ve learned it is sometimes easier to help others than to help yourself. Listening to the McElroys showed me issues I never realized I had and how to handle them biblically.
“We all think we are the only ones who go through problems but looking around and seeing the other couples laughing and agreeing, they showed us that we are all basically the same.”
“We greatly appreciate the Florida Baptist Convention partnering with us to make this vision come to life,” said Holley. “It was a huge blessing to all couples who were able to attend.”