Geoff and Janette Kragen got married on June 7th, 1969 in our very own Mount Hermon Chapel. Fifty years later and they’ve come back to recreate one of their wedding photos and share their memories:
It was June 7th, 1969 when my wife and I got married in the Mount Hermon chapel, which is still used for weddings today. But my history with Mount Hermon goes back to the early 50’s when my parents would bring our family for two weeks every summer. We came for the Fuller Conference, where we listened to Charles Fuller and enjoyed The Old Fashioned Revival Hour Quartet. The second week we attended the Keswick Conference.
Over the years as I got older, I continued to join my parents at Mount Hermon. I heard wonderful speakers like J. Vernon McGee. I attended a luncheon where Corrie Ten Boom was the guest speaker. I have memories of seeing the same staff in the Conference Dining Room year after year. I remember taking swimming lessons when I was a skinny little seven year-old and catching cold because the pool was not heated. I ended up helping out in the snack shack. The museum next to the chapel was the post office back then. I even dreamed of one day retiring and moving here to handle the finances for the Center (I was previously an accountant). However, the Lord had different plans for me. He called me out of accounting and into ministry. And so it was just natural to have our wedding here at the chapel.
Now I’ll turn this over to my wife to share her memories of our wedding here fifty years ago:
I was not a believer when I met Geoff in college. We were best friends for the first year or so, which set the foundation for our lifetime relationship. Although Geoff witnessed daily to me, it was his Mom, Treva Kragen, who “closed the deal” by praying the prayer of salvation with me. I immediately became a close part of the family.
Geoff proposed to me when I was nineteen. We felt it would be best to wait a while before marrying since I was still a Baby Christian at that point. I had plenty of time to grow in my faith and plan our wedding. After my first visit to Mount Hermon, I agreed that we were meant to marry in this beautiful place. So I designed and sewed my dress and veil. We arranged for a florist in Felton to make my headpiece and bouquet of pink roses.
The bridal party was very small, mostly Geoff’s family, my Mom and my Uncle (who gave me away), Rose, my Maid of Honor (who married the following year and became Rose Kennedy) and Robert, the Best Man. Pastor Dave Hepburn officiated. We held our reception at Brookdale Lodge, which some of you may remember has a history of troubles including three fires, closings, etc.
It seems like only yesterday, but here we are, much older and (hopefully) wiser. The Lord continues to bless us in so many ways. We are still best friends and look forward to many more years together. And we continue to come to Mount Hermon every year because of the Center’s generosity to pastors.
Thank you to Geoff and Janette for letting us celebrate this milestone with you. Congratulations!