New Life Fellowship Worship Center recently held its “16/50 Anniversary Banquet,” a celebration of 16 years of ministry and 50 years of marriage for the pastors, the Rev. Edward Ferguson and his wife Helen.

“Thank God for counting me worthy to call me into ministry, even though I didn’t feel worthy,” said Pastor Ferguson. “As Moses did, I wanted to make excuses, but as he was with Moses, he has been with me.”

He added, “Thank God for giving me my wife, who encouraged me by asking, ‘When are you going to start the church?’ This was the key that started the motor. I don’t know what I would have done without her. I love her very much.”

During the event, the couple renewed their wedding vows. Dr. Russell Groves, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church and a longtime friend of the Fergusons remarried the couple.

This is a joyous occasion for me, to be able to celebrate sixteen years of ministry,” said Mrs. Ferguson. “We started out on a journey not knowing what to expect but we kept God as the head. Being pastors was not something we knew, but through prayer, patience, and struggles, we made it.”

She added, “Another reason for my joy is to have been married to a good husband for 50 years. I thank him for being a good father, a great provider, excellent husband and for his love for God and people.”

The Fergusons have four daughters – Carol Williams, Tracey Stephenson, Deidre Monroe and Yvonne Matthews — all bridesmaids in the wedding, while Pastor Ferguson’s brother, brother-in-law, and sons-in-law served as groomsmen. The banquet included prayer, dinner, reflections, presentations, a performance by the New Life Fellowship Worship Center Dance Ministry and musical selections by The Christiannaires.

Regina Scott of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Northeast, Md. was the emcee for the event, which drew hundreds of attendees from Maryland, North Carolina, Delaware and beyond.

The Fergusons founded New Life Fellowship Worship Center Family 16 years ago.They discovered from their ministry within the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women (MCIW) many of these women had no support once they were released. Over the years, they have offered the women shelter, food, spiritual and other support. The Fergusons are natives of Raeford, N.C.