9 couples marry in mass wedding

Pastor challenges unmarried couples living together

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A pastor told his congregation that it's a sin for unmarried couples to live together. That was cause enough for several couples to come forward and make the decision to tie the knot.   

Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr. delivered the message last month, challenging unmarried couples in his congregation at Bethel Institutional Baptist Church to make a commitment to one another.

Nine couples made it official Saturday during a big ceremony at the church.

The couples all went through several counseling sessions to make sure they were ready to be wed. 

"Well, at first it was all about counseling -- relationship counseling -- then it just grew from there," said Corey Goodwin.

"The ceremony is just the window dressing, you know, you've got to know how to live together, be disciplined with each other, finances together, knowing each other's quirks, all of those kinds of things," McKissick said.

The mass wedding all came together in just a few short weeks, but for the nine couples, it's been a dream come true.

Photos from Saturday's mass wedding