The best thing to do if you were married by a
minister (which you have contracted through a wedding
chapel in the Smokies area) is to contact the location
of your ceremony. . If the minister is not
ordained by a mainline church organization, there's
cause to be concerned.
We highly encourage you to contact your state
senator and representatives to help stop this fraud on
the people coming to our area to be married.
Ed Taylor came to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky
Mountains of Tennessee in 1980. Taylor has been a
church-ordained minister since 1958. He was educated
at East Tennessee State University; Tennessee Temple
University; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
Fort Worth Texas; and received his doctorate from
Emanuel University in North Carolina. He soon
discovered a great need existed in the area for
couples to be married by a duly ordained minister with
the dignity and respect that they so deserved. He
also discovered that none of the local churches in the
area would consent to marry anyone that was not
affiliated with their own church membership. So,
Reverend Taylor started his ministry reaching out into
the community some 25 years ago. He now oversees
Gatlinburg's Little Mountain Church Village which
includes three chapels, a biblical museum and a
200-seat Christian music concert hall. Soon Reverend
Taylor began to feel the winds blow and hear an echo
coming out of the Great Smoky Mountains as if to be
the spirit of Paul Revere racing through the township
yelling, The British are coming, the British are
coming. Reverend Taylor knew something sour was
in the air. The religious ceremonies in Tennessee
were about to be challenged by a mail order
organization in the west. The same plague that struck
Las Vegas had hit Tennessee. It is time for Tennessee
to take a serious look at what makes a religious
ceremony so important.
Beware of False Ministers
If you were
married in Tennessee (Sevier County in particular) in a religious ceremony (not civil as in
Judge or Justice of the Peace) there's a chance your
marriage was performed by a reverend that's an imposter.
Because so many couples come to the Smokies to be married,
there's a huge demand for ministers in our area.
A good portion of the ministers performing ceremonies in
Sevier County are legit, but there is a growing number of
people that have gone online, filled out a form, and
instantly receive a printable certificate that says
they are "ordained ministers," They are out taking your
money and performing ceremonies our Sevier County
Tennessee law says that religious ceremonies must be
performed by a duly ordained minister who routinely has the
"care of souls" as part of his qualifications.
Internet or mail order ministers are not considered legal
according to our state's attorney general. If you were
married in the Smokies, we highly urge you to call the
location of your ceremony and question the minister's
credentials to make sure they are a real minister.
· Call 865
436-0990 and leave us a message if you're concerned.
Board of Directors-
Gatlinburg Ministries, Inc. (pictured are
Rev. Dr. Ed Taylor, Rev. Dr. William Reynolds, Rev. Dr. Jim
Moss, Dr. Gary Long, and Rev. Dr. Ron Baity
Tennessee Christian University Board of
Directors. Pictured above from left,
Rev. Dr. Ed Taylor-Senior Pastor-Gatlinburg Church Ministries,
Dr. Henderson Belk- of
Belk Dept. Stores, and Rev. Dr. Bill Reynolds-President,
Emmanuel Baptist University.