Stay up to date with the latest wedding ceremony trends, script writing inspiration, tips and advice for first-time officiants, and news that matters to couples and wedding ministers.

When his church discriminated, this Minister turned to American Marriage Ministries

Published Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 2020

Photos by Madison Nightingale Photography

Our Constitution might proclaim the equality of all people, but for many Americans, discrimination based on gender, sexuality, or race is still an everyday occurrence. When Samuel Heath wanted to get ordained, his church said no because of his sexuality. And when other churches found out that he was gay, they shut the door in his face too.


That’s where American Marriage Ministries comes into the picture. We ordained him online so that he could officiate weddings, counsel couples, and continue to practice his deep and beautiful faith on his own terms, in his community. Our church does not discriminate against anyone based on gender, sexuality, race or any other defining human characteristics.


Here at AMM, we believe that all people are created equal.





Last week Samuel officiated his first wedding after being ordained through AMM, but he’s been ministering for years.


“I started preaching when I was ten years old,” Samuel said. “I have been in the church all my life working in various positions. However, due to being same-gender-loving I was not able to be ordained."


"Eventually," he told us, "I wasn’t even welcome in certain spaces to worship. After receiving my master’s degree in divinity, I was offered to submit to a few rigorous processes or to pay for my ordination. I declined them both. Clear of who I am and my calling, I was confident I would eventually get to the end goal of helping people love."


Samuel is currently a graduate student majoring in marriage and family therapy at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His goal is simple: “To ensure we all fall in love and stay in love.” 


Samuel invests in the couples that he marries. For the couple that he joined in marriage last week, he worked with them to help them see “beyond the wedding and foster a relationship that sustains their marriage. While it may seem a small step, it was a major step. Working with my couple over the last few months in our 'Duet' sessions and finally standing with them at the altar, I was reminded that not only does love win, but love is always possible.”


For too long, religion has been used to divide people, to discriminate, and to isolate. It's time to flip the script and remember why we started out on this path together. Our spiritual journeys should bring us closer to a place of peace and joy - not hate and fear.


We want you to know that if your church won't stand with the oppressed, you will always have a home with us here at AMM.





If this inspires you, we encourage you to get ordained with us, and join our incredible community of like-minded individuals. 

Lewis King
Lewis King

Lewis is AMM's executive director. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling, restocking the sparkling water, and watering the office plants.

How To Officiate By State

Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!


Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!