Marcia Dixon speaks to three Christians, who have made it their mission to support believers in their quest to enjoy single life or find partners.
Val Bernard-Allan is a Sociology lecturer at Dauphine University, London and Bracknell and Wokingham College, Berkshire, and also works as a motivational sociologist. Val explored the lives of single women for her PhD thesis, entitled ‘It’s Not Good to Be Alone – Singleness and the Black Seventh-day Adventist Woman’. She shares the reason behind her research, its findings and her future plans.
KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): What inspired you to carry out research looking into the lives of single women in the Seventh-day Adventist church?
VAL BERNARD-ALLAN (VBA): It was when I began making plans to get married to my first husband. I distinctly remember conversations with some of my Christian Black Caribbean girlfriends, who were happy for me but also lamenting the fact that they were still waiting for their ‘Mr Right’. I then had personal experience of singleness, when this marriage broke down. So my concerns and interest intensified, and eventually found direction in my research on single women, and my interest has continued to grow.
KTF: What were the key findings in your PhD research?
VBA: The research focused on the experiences of singleness for Black Seventh-day Adventist women, and some of the findings were:
(i) Black women believe that productive adulthood is expressed in marriage
(ii) The idea that marriage is ordained by God problematises their relationship with God
(iii) Maintaining the celibate life is extremely difficult but very important, because it becomes one way in which they demonstrate their spiritual pedigree
(iv) Post-slavery narratives, such as ‘strong Black woman’, complicate their quest to marry, and
(v) Black single Christian women are our heroines
KTF: What aspects of your findings do you think relate to Black single women in other sectors of the church?
VBA: The findings are relevant for Black women with post-enslaved, post-colonial backgrounds – this includes African women – and shows how singleness as an ethnic identity within a religious community is expressed. By highlighting the racialised aspects of singleness, the findings make an important contribution to illuminating British Black women’s singleness as a marginalised identity within the Church and within wider society.
KTF: How would you like women and the Church to act on your findings?
VBA: To take the high rates of involuntary singleness of Black Caribbean women seriously, and to recognise their contribution to the Church, despite a profound sense of emotional deprivation, and to include singleness in the curriculum in their training centres, colleges and universities.
KTF: What advice do you have to offer women who would like to get married, but feel it’s impossible?
VBA: The ultimate way to exist is to seek intimacy with God. It is also the best way to see the destruction of strongholds, so that we can really embrace the truth that ‘with God all things are possible’, and so we can boldly embrace the good things that life has to offer.
KTF: Where is your research available, and how do you plan to share your findings and empower women during 2018?
VBA: My research is available at www.valbernardallan.com. I will be hosting a seminar at Balham SDA on May 20th, using my research findings to case study the singleness epidemic within the Black community as a whole. I will also be looking into the solution to involuntary singleness, by combining a sociological analysis of the production of singleness with a biblical interpretation of resurrection.
For more information, visit www.valbernadallan.com
Longstanding Christian Evangelists, Vivien Rose and Rose Sunday, founded The Day I Get Married – a ministry initiative to help Christian women find husbands. Evangelist Vivien runs her own publishing company, and carries out missions work in Uganda. Minister Rose is an event organiser by profession, and runs a foundation for vulnerable children.
KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): When and what inspired Rose and yourself to set up The Day I Get married?
EVANGELIST VIVIEN ROSE (EVR): The name @TheDayIGetMarried was given by the Lord for social media, to attract singles and minister to them about marriage. It was birthed out of a time of prayer and fasting, when God instructed me to dig deeper to find the solution for what was causing delays in my sister’s marriage. During that fast, my eyes were opened, and I learnt why so many single women were in church and how to change things.
KTF: You held your first The Day I Get Married event last August. What kind of response did you get?
EVR: We had a fantastic response. Women, who were reluctant to voice their disappointment and pain about not being married, began to call, and women from different cultures and backgrounds attended the first prayer meeting. Single men also messaged us, and still support live broadcasts where we share the Word of the Lord for singles.
KTF: There are lots of single Christian women, complaining that they can’t find partners. What do you think are the reasons for this state of affairs?
EVR: There are practical and spiritual reasons. Practically, there are more males in the world than females, but fewer godly men in church than women.
This is because, spiritually, there is an assassination agenda against the faith of men; they carry the seed of posterity for family and society. However, the Church was not focused on raising godly men, but more on the women. So now women, who have been raised, must in turn, free the men through intercession.
KTF: How is your ministry helping women to find partners?
EVR: We do not physically find partners for women – LOL! What we do, is prepare men and women to catch the vision of what God is saying and expecting, so God can supernaturally release them into marriage within a 12-month window. We are not a matchmaking agency, BUT we are an intercessory and teaching agency, anointed to release the purposes of God for singles to marry into manifestation. This is a prerequisite for revival!
KTF: How do you plan to help Christian women in their quest to find partners during 2018?
EVR: He has commissioned us to conduct a Singles Tour UK 2018, declaring the Word of the Lord – “It is time to be married” – and praying for men and women to be released into their destined marriages supernaturally for the GLORY OF GOD! We will be partnering with male ministers to accomplish this task. Plus we’ll be having regular prayer meetings and a Bride-To-Be Banquet in London.
KTF: And what three things do you think a Christian woman should do to position herself for marriage in 2018?
EVR: (i) Believe in the prophetic word for marriage within a 12-month window. (ii) Prophetic prayer and positioning herself, by walking in obedience to what the Lord requires, which is to come to the place of prayer and intercession for men and marriage. (iii) Be open to change – location, job, church, etc – as directed by the Holy Spirit, because He is going to give specific instructions to individuals to expedite their marriages.
For more information about this ministry, follow @thedayIgetmarried on Instagram.
For the past six years, Minister Abraham Jones has been running Kingdom Relationships, and part of his ministry activities entails organising conferences for singles across the UK, which are attended by Christians from all over the UK. He shared how Kingdom Relationship conferences are helping singles.
KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): What inspired you to launch your singles event across the country?
MINISTER ABRAHAM JONES (MAJ): After our conference in London, back in 2015, the Lord spoke to me to take the ‘Connect’ conferences to various cities in the United Kingdom, and we did. Prior to that, we noticed that people were coming from Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester – and even as far as Scotland – just to attend our conferences in London. We were elated by this, but didn’t make a move until we got the leading to do so.
KTF: What kind of activities take place at your events?
MAJ: During our conferences, attendees participate in worship sessions, networking sessions, teaching, testimonies, talk shows, prayer sessions, etc. We have other events that are mainly social in nature, and attendees come and have a great time mingling with other singles in God’s presence, whilst having fun.
KTF: Why do you think it’s important for singles to attend gatherings such as yours?
MAJ: There is a limit to what a pastor can preach, to and about singles, during church services, due to the mixed nature of their congregations. At singles events, however, singles can talk freely about issues that concern them, without holding back. We always get positive feedback from attendees of our conferences, telling us how glad they were to hear us talk freely about real issues on the minds of singles.
KTF: Do you have testimonies of couples who have met and gotten married at your events or who, after attending your conferences, met the man/woman of their dreams?
MAJ: We have myriads of testimonies of people meeting their dream men and women at our events, alongside other amazing testimonies. But, for me, some of the testimonies that stay in my heart are the ones from people who said they were on the verge of suicide, but saw life differently, with a ray of hope, after attending our events. Others have people saying they thought they were ready for marriage before attending our event, but afterwards knew they weren’t ready. We also have people making their peace with God at our events.
KTF: What do you have planned for Kingdom Relationships in 2018?
MAJ: We are looking at going on a world tour with our ‘Connect’ Singles conference. We are kicking off with London this summer. We also have social events, spiritual enhancement events, and lots more coming up this year. Lastly, we will be hosting a pre-marital class for Christians, which will be aimed at empowering singles with the skills and knowledge they need to be in a successful relationship/marriage. More info coming soon.
Visit www.kingdomrelationships.com for more information.