Three generations came out to celebrate 60 years of wedding bliss in honor of Rev. Hosie and Vashti Walker of St. Tania Missionary Baptist Church.
The eight Walker children, Freddie, Raymond, Patricia, Janice, Hosianna, Mary, Carolyn and Carmen came together to throw their parents a celebration of love at their home.
The huge back yard was beautifully decorated, flowers created pretty trails along the fences. Beautiful flowerpots filled with assorted flowers hang from the trees. It was like stepping into the Garden of Eden.
The loving couple showed us they were a team. They both wore matching blue jean outfits. They were too cute!
Hosie and Vashti met in 1949 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. On weekends, truckloads of boys would come from the city after work to what was called Vender Machine in the rural areas where they would get a bowl of hash and dance with the girls doing the boogie-woogie.
Vashti saw Hosie when he got off the truck and liked what she saw, especially the way his pants were creased and the way he walked and smiled. So she had her girlfriend tell him that she liked him. He took the bait came over and they have been together ever since. It was truly love at first sight.
Six months later, she borrowed her girlfriend’s wedding gown and the two of them were married on her parent’s front porch. They rented their first place for $5 a month. After a year, they moved into their first home, built from the ground-up.
Hosie was called to the ministry in 1956. He told Vashti “Honey if you stick with me, I will lead you to Christ.”
He was called to pastor in 1957 at Zion Travelers MBC where he served for 10 years before he founded St. Tania Missionary Baptist Church here in Milwaukee.
Many came out to celebrate 60 years of love with the couple: Carolyn Walker Hosie’s sister came all the way from Little Rock, Ark., Mr. and Mrs. Willie Pierson, Willie Mae and Willie C., Ruby Glover, Mamie Hoskens, Pastor Paul Crouthers of New Covenant Baptist Church, Rev. David Blathers and First Lady Miriam of Paradise Sanctuary Baptist Church and Delores Sezer of Las Vegas.
Vashti’s sister surprised the couple with her presence. No one knew she was coming. But how can one celebrate 60 years of love without having your mother and mother-in-law, Lillie Jenkins who was 98 years young and celebrating her birthday.
Everyone was having a wonderful time celebrating love in the Garden of Eden.
The Walker children laid out a feast for the couple and their guests. The BBQ Chef was none other than grandson Marcus Walker and he can cook! All the other siblings did their special dishes as well. The food was so goooood!
The couple’s son Raymond did the tribute to their parents on behalf of the family. He stated, “if we had our choice in selecting parents, we could not have picked better parents. We are truly blessed that our family circle has never been broken.”
He shared what can be called the true essence of their love. He said his mom had what was believed to be a stroke. “She was in a coma and the doctors were not giving us any good news on her recovery.
“Our dad went in the room, grabbed my mom’s hand, prayed and then asked our mom would she marry him. He said she opened her eyes and smiled and said, ‘yes, you know I will marry you.’ What a powerful love!” He concluded the tribute with, “We love you mom and dad!”
Of course, I-Witness asked the couple separately what has made this marriage work for 60 years.
Hosie put it real simple. “You must have the love of God in your heart and you must love what’s there. You must think before you act. Loving each other is the best formula. Love can hide many faults and a multitude of failures. But when you continue to love, love will work. When answering the same question, Vashti began to blush. You could see the love written all over her face when I spoke her husband’s name.
What did she love most about Hosie? “He’s always been a great man and has always taken care of his family. He’s a man who loves God and his family. She begins to blush again as she shares how she picked him out of that truckload of men so many years ago in Arkansas. Blushing even brighter, she said she still loves him like that first date “in spite of whatever.” I wish ya’ll could feel the love in the Walker’s back yard. It was real.
As I left, I looked at the couple and there was a glow on their faces. I guess if we could see love I believe that is what it would look like, a beautiful glow.
Hey Hosie and Vashti, Thank you for letting me see what real love looks like.
I’m sure many would love to be in your place, still loving after 60 years. You are a great example for all couples…and some old ones too! Holla! Let the Lord speak. What God puts together, no man can separate. Happy Anniversary! Wishing you 60 more years of pure bliss!