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Pastors Vanessa Brown and Twanna Gause marry in front of a crow of 20o.
Love Stories & Weddings

When Two Pastors Fall In Love

This past summer, Pastor Twanna Brown and Pastor Vanessa Gause consecrated their love before God and 200 guests at the New Vision Full Gospel Baptist Church in East Orange, N.J.

Twanna, 46, and Vanessa, 45, are pastors of Rivers of Living Water United Church of Christ, which has locations in Newark and New York.

Love At First Sight

Their love story started nearly 30 years ago when both were teenagers singing in the same choir in Jersey City.

“I was like, ‘Oh wow, what in the world, who’s that, she’s beautiful,’” Vanessa told the New York Times in an article about their union. “I immediately felt this kind of strange, warm feeling wash over me, and though I had not yet spoken a word to her, I could see myself loving this woman forever. My head was just spinning.”

But for Twanna, who was two years older, Vanessa was just a friend. Soon Vanessa’s father, a staunch, conservative pastor moved their family to Atlanta.

Enduring Love

Pastors Vanessa and Twanna married on August 24, 2017.

In 2005 the two reconnected when Twanna invited Vanessa to preach at a church in Harlem where she was ministering. It was after dinner and a night of reminiscing when they shared their first kiss.


“It was a wonderful first kiss,” Vanessa recalled. “Well worth the wait!”


The two married even though Vanessa’s father, who is strongly against their union citing the biblical texts, refused to attend.

For both women all that matters is love. And that was reflected in their wedding ceremony.

“Love is patient, love is kind. … Love hopes and endures all things,” recited Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder, the presiding bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, from 1 Corinthians 13 during their ceremony.


Love Wins

Twanna and Vanessa share a dance.

Pastors Twanna and Vanessa share a dance.

Vanessa later wrote on her Facebook page: “What we want Twanna’s father and those who believe as he does to know is that Love Wins! Love was winning before we got married, Love won on our wedding day and Love will always win.”


Read the full story here in the New York Times.

Featured image courtesy of An Rong Xu of the New York Times.

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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