Thursday, August 6, 2009
Biedenharns renew vows
By SUE WATSON
It was the last Wednesday in July of 1976 when Jim Biedenharn II was picked up by his wife to be, Clare, in a New Orleans restaurant. Thirty-two years later the Biedenharns, married and the parents of two sons, renewed their marriage vows with a blessing of the rings.
The occasion was made urgent and more special as Clare, a Methodist minister, will spend the next year in New Orleans training to be a chaplain. Her most recent assignment was pastor of the United Methodist Churches in Independence and Hebron.
Clare has published her story of her first meeting of James (Brother Jim) in Guideposts magazine.
Clare Biedenharn explained why they decided to renew their marriage vows with the blessing of the rings.
“James didn’t get a wedding ring when we were married as he had no father’s or grandfather’s ring. And he didn’t want one,” she said.
Then on May 24, 2008, her daughter-in-law-to-be received the wedding ring Clare had received from Brother Jim 32 years ago. Louise, who recently graduated law school at the University of Memphis, joined the blessing of the rings with James Biedenharn III, who is also a Methodist minister in Walnut.
Robert Biedenharn, a second son, is stationed with the Army Reserve, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, and was not able to attend the ceremony as he was on business in Jackson.
“It seemed like a good time (to exchange rings),” Clare Biedenharn said.
The couple chose Annie’s Restaurant for the blessing of the rings by pastor Edward Moses, minister of Asbury United Methodist Church and a good friend of the couple. Joining in the ceremony was Rev. Leona Harris. Annie Lucas sang two songs for the happy couple. Also present was Calvin James, a member of the Holly Springs Board of Aldermen.
Clare Biedenharn recently completed a specialist degree in adult learning at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she had studied for a doctorate degree before abandoning the degree to move to Byhalia where her husband is pastor of the Byhalia United Methodist Church.
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