A metro Atlanta church married 12 couples on Feb. 16 in a wedding inspired by the epic Marvel movie “Black Panther.”
For the most part, American weddings typically take place in a church, and it can cost a pretty penny from start to finish. But what’s so unique about the ceremony at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is the whole shindig was orchestrated at no cost to the happy couples, WSB TV reports.
In a world where lavish wedding ceremonies, complete with dozens of bridesmaids, groomsmen and elaborate decorations and pricey catering has become the gold-standard, New Birth Senior Pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant said he wanted people to focus more on commitment.
“We wanted to remove the financial barriers that would burden or even deter couples from having a wedding ceremony,” said Bryant, WSBTV reports.
“Marriage not only signifies a commitment between two people, but also is an outward demonstration of a commitment and bond that symbolizes God’s love for the church.”
New Birth paired Black History Month festivities with the mass wedding which was themed “A Wedding in Wakanda,” which apparently consisted of the church encouraging couples to wear African-style garb. From the looks of the photos, most women opted for the traditional white wedding gown.
“We want couples participating in this year’s event to be equipped with the biblical principles to have a healthy and fruitful union,” Bryant said.
Singer Kelly Price also sang for the couples to round out the celebration.
Since Pastor Jamal Bryant joined the staff of the church in the Atlanta suburb of Stonecrest in 2018, New Birth has been about the business of helping to lessen the financial burden of their parishioners and community members.
In 2019, the church started a “Bail Out Program” for Lent, with the intent to raise $40,000, in 40 days, but in fact exceeded that goal and raised more than $120,000. Some 23 nonviolent first-time offenders who couldn’t afford a bond were bailed out of jail and spent the Easter holiday with their families. Celebrities like T.I and “Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta” cast member Scrapp DeLeon joined in the effort to help so that those accused could make their way home to see their children ahead of the holiday.
Additionally the church provided counseling services and even opened college funds to some of the children on the offenders.
The “Black Panther” film’s success is still resonating years after it premiered and become a cultural phenomenon that made record-breaking box office history.
While New Birth seemingly hit a high note by incorporating “Wakanda” into the universal theme of love, OneUnited Bank, on the other hand, got slammed for what seemed to be an attempt at trying to include the Wakanda salute on their newest debit card.
Abolitionist and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman seemingly was holding up the “Wakanda Forever” sign on a OneUnited Bank debit card, and people had a lot of questions about why the trail blazer’s likeness would be used in such a way.
That didn’t go over so well for the bank, which defended the pose as a universal sign of love for the deaf and hard of hearing.