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COVER STORY / January 2022

Photo credit: Qiane Hale, Cara Light Photography

John & Geraldine Harrison Celebrate 50 Years Married: "It Takes Patience and Trust"

By LaShae Udoaka - January 2022

Kingsport, TN- On Wednesday, December 22, John and Gerry Harrison renewed their marriage vows amongst family and friends at Central Baptist Church in Kingsport, TN.  Both are natives of Mississippi.

Gerry wore the very same wedding dress she was married in 50 years ago.  It was a full-length shirtdress with a high bodice, long puff sleeves, a 12 foot train with lace around the edge, and the hem of the dress.

The renewal ceremony was officiated by Rev. Perry Stuckey, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church. Soloists for the occasion were Van Dobbins and Ida Zimmerman

The wedding party was made up of all family members.  Creative dance: two granddaughters, matron of honor: daughter and daughter in law, bridesmaids: four sisters

The best men were the couple’s 1st son and 1st cousin. The groomsmen were their sons, grandsons, and great-nephews, Flower girls were their 4 great-nieces, and their grandsons served as ring bearers. Their granddaughter and 4 great-nieces served as hostesses.

The couple chose hunter green, gold, and white as their color scheme.  The reception was held at the Civic Auditorium in Kingsport, TN, with attendees of 165.

John and Gerry met at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi in 1969.  After two years of dating, they married on November 21, 1971.  In 1973 John accepted a job at Eastman Chemical Company.  And the rest, as they say, “is history”.

John worked at Eastman as a Research Chemist and Gerry was a teacher at John Sevier Middle School for over 30 years.  They have three children: LaShea (Ramstein, Germany), Jeremy (Philadelphia PA), and Bryan (Roanoke VA) and five grandchildren: Solomon, Samuel, Phoenix, Zoe, and Ja’Lyn.

John and Gerry are active members of Central Baptist Church, where John is a deacon and Gerry volunteers in several ministries.

They enjoy spending time with family and traveling.

When asked the secret to a long-lasting marriage, they said, “it takes patience, trust, kindness, and respect.  But most of all, God must be the center of their union.” 


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