Princess Beryl Allen and Bai Sama G. Best, on January 1 (New Year’s Day) were joined together in holy matrimony before an audience of over 400, among them some international guests.
Beryl, an attorney-at-law at the Pierre, Tweh and Associates law firm, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dunbar Burgess Allen, Jr.
Bai, on the other hand, is the managing director of the Liberian Observer Corporation and the first son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Y. Best.
The colorful and joyous ceremony, which some described as “a royal wedding”, was held at the John T. Richardson ranch, on the bank of the St. Paul River, Virginia, Montserrado County.
Administering the marital vows between Beryl and Bai, the founder and General Overseer of Gates Agapé Ministries, Reverend Mother Edith N. Ricks, admonished those who had gone to witness the ceremony to keep away from doing things that may tend to undermine the marital relationship of the newly wedded couple.
Drawing her theme from the Book of Matthew 19:6, Mother Ricks said Beryl and Bai are no longer two but one before God. As such, their thoughts and actions must be united to produce the desired results.
According to her, the Book of Matthew 19:6 says, “Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What, therefore, God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
“As a representative of Jesus Christ and in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I now pronounce you husband and wife,” Rev. Ricks declared as she joined the hands of the couple and tied them together with her pastoral stole, signaling the beginning of their blessed union. She loosened them later amid applause from the congregation.
Delivering the exhortation earlier from the Book of Ephesians 5:21 to 31, Apostle Samuel M. Kollie, resident pastor, Gates Agapé Ministries, said marriage is not for clever or smart people, but “good fools.”
He said in a marriage that is to last forever, no one is right. “That’s it. You, the man, must at all times accept the foolishness of your wife and she, in turn, must accept your pieces of nonsense. This is how you make it to the finish line,” Kollie said as the audience cheered.
He said every game or activity has rules and so it is with marriage.
According to Apostle Kollie, “there are four major things in marriage that must be followed by both husband and wife if they want their marriage to live on.
“The first is that you both must live by the rules of the game of marriage. Both of you cannot be masters of the game at the same time. Woman, please understand and respect the fact that your husband is the captain of this boat you have embarked on and he, too, must at all times know that you are his helper, not a slave,” he said to the pleasure of listeners as they applauded him.
Among the rules of a successful marriage, Kollie said, “Mutual respect for each other, love and submission are key.”
He added that sacrifice and forgiveness, as well as understanding, are integral parts of what makes a marriage successful.
He cautioned Beryl and Bai not to be desperate for solutions to their problems, because such an attitude leads one to become complacent, egotistic and bereft of tolerance for each other’s challenges. Apostle Kollie then wished the new couple all the best.
Other eminent officiating clergy included Bishop and Mrs. George D. Harris of Philadelphia Central Church and Prophetess Oretha T. During of the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ who prayed blessings upon the couple.
Mrs. Mae Gene Best, mother of the groom, expressed gratitude for favoring her family so dearly over the years, even though there were and are still difficult times.
“I am so happy and proud of my son that he has found somebody he has fallen so dearly in love with and decided to take her hand in marriage today,” she said.
She added, “I am happy for the young lady, Beryl, who has now become my son’s wife.”
She said her family has known Beryl in a period of at least a year or two and, from her conduct and action towards Mr. and Mrs. Best, as well as the rest of the family and relatives who have come in touch with her (Beryl), they are pleased with the decision that brought them in union.
On behalf of his family, the father of the bride, Mr. Charles Dunbar Burgess Allen, said they are pleased with their daughter’s choice of Bai for her life partner and promised to support them morally and in whatever other way as they move on with their own family life.
Scores of dignitaries, including former political leader and standard bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, were present.
Others at the event were University of Liberia’s president Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks and her sister Angelique Weeks who once served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA).
Former Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director, John Woods, Frontpage Africa managing editor, Rodney Sieh, tough-talking political commentator Henry Pedro Costa, and a host of many notable personalities in the country and scores of family and friends of the couple from other parts of the world, including the United States, Uganda, and the United Kingdom, were present at the occasion.
Meanwhile, the event, executed by chief organizer Mrs. Willa Gooding, has been hailed as one of the most well organized weddings ever in Liberia. Working with decorator, Robert Swen of Taurus Design Studio, who literally transformed the Richardson’s Ranch with flowers and photogenic scenery, Madam Gooding appears to have set a new standard for Liberia’s nuptial industry, though this is a far cry from her day job.
Other highlights of the event include soul-stirring solos by Liberian professional baritone, Ernie Bruce; sumptuous cuisine by Catherine Lawrence, co-emceed by Onike Gooding and Charles Snetter, while DJ Master D kept the guests dancing all evening long.
One Liberian technology professional expressed that the newly-weds had “put a dent in the internet”. The wedding was broadcast live on Facebook courtesy of KMTV, generating at the last count, over 10,000 views and many viral photos posted by those in attendance. Courtesy of Staga Media and Sando Moore, photos from the wedding will be featured in the upcoming edition of the Sando Moore Images Magazine.