Thank you for contacting Fifth Street Baptist Church regarding your upcoming wedding. We receive many requests each year for either ministerial services or facility usage. There are many organizations in Key West which provide wedding services. However, as a religious institution we take seriously our part in sanctioning any marriage especially considering the high divorce rate in today's society. As our first obligation is to Jesus Christ, we want to make sure that each couple is beginning their marital journey with Him as their foundation. The chances of a long term marriage are much more likely for those who do so. Keeping these things in mind, we have some very simple guidelines and principles for those desiring a religious service:
We ask that each couple be active in a Southern Baptist Church or one of like faith and doctrine. In order to confirm this, we must have an endorsement (written or verbal) by someone on your church's ministerial staff as to your participation and involvement.
Furthermore, we strongly believe in the value of premarital counseling of some sort. Because most couples stay in Key West is only for a very short time, it is impossible for us to provide adequate counseling given the period we would have to do it. Therefore, we would also need an endorsement from your pastor or other staff member that you have pursued pre-marital counseling through them or some other counselor.
Ceremonies not requiring the use of Fifth Street facilities are subject to a set fee of $300 to pay the officiating pastor for his time and preparation. Use of facilities will require significant additional charges. Contact the church office for this information.
Finally, we need to have ample notice on the time, date and place of your service for our own scheduling. We will only schedule a ceremony once the above endorsements have been received.
Hopefully these guidelines are within your capability. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our church office at 305-294-2255 or via website or personal email. We look forward to making you wedding a Christ-centered and honoring experience.
Sincerely Yours, and Securely His,
Rev. Ozzie Vater, Senior Pastor
Fifth Street Baptist Church
Key West, FL 33040