The Rev. Benjamin Sanders, 78, and Beulah Tucker, 76, giggled like teenagers during their recent wedding at The Church of God in Christ in Gary. | Photo provided
Companionship is the best prescription for long life, said the Rev. Benjamin Sanders, 78, and Beulah Tucker-Sanders, 76.
The joyous couple recently were joined in matrimony while more than 400 guests watched as they made vows to start a new life together.
Sanders has been bishop of The Church of God in Christ’s Indiana 2nd Jurisdiction since 1997. In 2012, after 57 years of marriage, a brain tumor claimed the life of his wife, the late Ruthie Mae Sanders. They had eight children.
“She was a good mother, an honest woman, a faithful wife, and dedicated to the church,” he said.
Finding a new companion was a remedy for grief, Sanders said. And Tucker revived him after his loss.
“My husband, the late Roosevelt Tucker, died 25 years ago,” she said. “There has not been a man’s feet under my dining table since then.”
For the past 20 years, Tucker dedicated her life to prayer, volunteering at the church and nurturing children.
Raising more than 20 biological, adopted and foster children in Gary is part of her living legacy.
The newfound companionship between Sanders and Tucker is their antidote for loneliness.
“I needed a wife,” he said. “Loneliness will kill you.”
Sanders added the Bible says it is not good for man to be alone.
“Mother Beulah, how do you feel about me?” Sanders said, laughing as he retold the story of their engagement. “She told me she loves me.”
Two days later, Tucker confessed.
“I didn’t tell you the whole truth,” Tucker recalled saying. “I really, really, really, really love you.”
For some, aging means slowing down, mentally and physically.
“But we plan to live,” Sanders said. “And our last days will be our best days.”
Giggling like teenagers, they exchanged rings.
The words, “You may kiss your bride,” sparked a standing ovation.
“We make one another happy,” Tucker said. “It’s good to have somebody.”
Someone to pray with, talk to, hold hands, and share coffee is what the Sanders call companionship.
“This is why I needed a wife,” Sanders said. “Together, we are one.”