Couples celebrate National Black Marriage Day Sunday

MILWAUKEE -- Sunday, March 25th marks National Black Marriage Day, and Milwaukee area couples marked the day by renewing their vows, or even getting married.

Inside New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee Sunday, 17 couples renewed their wedding vows. The couples have been married a combined 430 years!

Dan and Mary Gaddis were on hand to renew their vows as part of the National Black Marriage Day celebration Sunday. They've been married for 62 years! "First of all, I love my wife, and I think it was love that brought us. We pray to God we keep on leading and guiding us the way that we should go," Dan Gaddis said. "Just stay together, whatever happens. It's owed to God's unchanging hands. Stay together and be happy," Mary Gaddis said.

New Hope was one of several churches offering this celebration Sunday. Over 300 couples were expected to renew their vows in Milwaukee alone to mark the day.

According to - the website for the day, events are planned nationwide to celebrate marriage in the Black community.

National Black Marriage Day is organized by the Wedded Bliss Foundation and is meant to promote healthy relationships in Black communities and the benefits of two-parents families for children.

Stastics show that by age 30, 80 percent of white couples are married, while that number is just 50 percent for members of the Black community.