Shared Faith Leads to Love

February 1, 2009 | By More

Story by Dianne Edwards

Newlyweds Becki and Zach Hall spend a lot of time together these days. 

But that wasn’t always the case. Two weeks after they became engaged in December 2007, Zach moved to California to attend seminary. The couple continued their courtship via phone with calls at least an hour every night.

“My father just laughed at our phone bills, thankfully,” recalled Becki.

Becki’s parents are Doug and Connie Barker of Greenwood. Zach’s father, Tim Hall, lives in Irving, Texas. His mother, Rona Fellow, resides in Charleston, S.C.

Rebekah Ellen Barker and Zachary John Hall were married Dec. 13, 2008, at First Baptist Church in Dover. With Becki’s parents living in Greenwood and Zach’s parents both living out of state, the couple wanted to be married in Dover, at what had become their church home while both attended Tech. 

“We had begun visiting there while we were students and started our relationship together there. We both had ‘home churches’ – Zach in Irving, mine in Greenwood. Dover FBC felt like family so it was only natural that we wanted to be married there,” the couple recalled.

The pastor of Dover FBC, Bro. Jeff Paxton, assisted Zach’s father, Pastor Tim Hall who married his son and future daughter-in-law.

Becki’s mother recalled that the wedding went off “without a hitch.”

“But the entire wedding was very Christ-centered and we couldn’t help but feel God had a hand in everything going so smoothly.”

Living in Greenwood with a wedding in Dover meant the Barkers either brought everything to the church or located what they needed locally.

“We worked with a number of great shops in Russellville and that helped everything go off as planned,” Connie Barker added.

“I had met Kristin Hare, our wedding photographer, while on a cultural-exchange trip to India sponsored by First Baptist Church in Russellville. We became good friends on the trip. I trusted her and admired her work.”

“When we began planning for the wedding, we chose her to take our engagement photos. She really put us – especially Zach – at ease. She made what seemed like an awkward thing (posing for photos) feel very comfortable,” Becki recalled.

“I really enjoyed getting to spend more time with my mom as we were planning for the wedding. It was even more special knowing I would soon be moving. We have some really great memories,” said Becki.

“It was also wonderful to watch the whole planning process come together. Everyone stepped up to offer their special talents and volunteer, it helped so much.”

The couple’s entire relationship has focused on their shared religious faith. Both were students at Arkansas Tech when they met. Becki was pursuing a degree first in International Studies, then later, in Early Childhood Education. Zach was a student in speech and communications. They began seeing each other at various church-organization sponsored luncheons. Later, they were formally introduced by friends.

“We met and began dating in the Fall of 2005, and within months, we knew we wanted to be together, to get married. I know that sounds silly,” Becki said, laughing.

“We were both at the point in our lives that we knew we wanted to follow the Lord and willing to except what came in our lives. We realized we had found someone that had the same values and beliefs.”

Their dates were simple, spending a lot of time together, taking long drives. “We became fast friends,” said Becki.

“We’d always go for ice cream. We spent a lot of time at Dairy Queen,” she added, laughing

Zach’s proposal was unique, Becki recalled.

“He quoted Biblical scripture from passages where Jesus served his disciples by washing their feet. Zach got down on his knees and began washing my feet, telling me he wanted to continue to serve me through marriage,” Becki said fondly.

That was Christmas 2007. Within two weeks, Zach – who had graduated from ATU with a bachelor’s degree in speech and communication earlier that month – left for seminary. He had made the decision to enter into the ministry and was accepted at The Master Seminary in Sun Valley, Calif.

The couple was dedicated to maintaining their relationship and committed to talking by phone each evening. Becki transferred to the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith to complete her education degree.

For the next five months, the pair planned their wedding long-distance, seeing each other only five times before their wedding date neared.

“We waited a long time to kiss again after we became engaged. We had hope to wait until “the kiss” during our wedding ceremony, but… well, that didn’t happen. We made it all the way to Thanksgiving,” she said, giggling. “It was so important to us to honor our shared Christian values. It made that ‘first kiss’ all the more special.”

Even the florals chosen for the bride’s bouquet reflected their Christian-based values. Becki selected Star of Bethlehem to cluster with the cream roses she carried as she walked down the aisle.

Becki’s sisters served as her maid and matrons of honor. Matron of honor Katie Allspach and maid LeAnn Barker were joined by Becki’s childhood friend Emily Lodes along with Lindsey Newcom and Lauryn Wood. Brenna Peoples served as flower girl.

Zach’s brother Chris served as best man. Groomsmen included Zach Welchman, Taylor Otwell and the groom’s cousins Austin Hall and Ryan Hall. Blake Barker, the bride’s nephew was the ringbearer.

Steven Allspach, brother-in-law of the bride, and Matt Wilson assisted the guests as ushers.

The cream and sage green chosen by the bride for her wedding ceremony was continued at the reception, accented by shades of red. Following the marriage, guests were invited to join the new couple in the reception hall of the church for hugs and well-wishes.

The newlyweds spent the week following their marriage at Gatlinburg, Tenn., before returning home to prepare for the move to California.

“We came home, spent four days with my family, packing up my things,” Becki said. “Then we went to Zach’s home in Irving where we spent another four days packing up his belongings before leaving for Sun Valley.”

Within weeks of beginning her married life, Becki was hired Jan. 5 to teach first grade at Grace Community School in Sun Valley, Calif. The school is associated with the seminary at which Zach is studying.

“Zach found out there was a job opening, a teacher taking maternity leave, so he encouraged me to apply. Now I’m teaching first-grade, to a class of nineteen energy-filled youngsters,” Becki related.

And, after spending so many months apart while they planned their wedding, they spend a lot of time together again, traveling by car from their home in Newhall to Sun Valley.

As Becki added, “Isn’t that funny? I’m a ‘new Hall’ living in ‘Newhall.”

 

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Category: Bridal

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