91-year-old pastor prepares to marry 74-year-old

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

SYBENE — He may be 91 years old, but Joyce Workman said her fianc/, Artie Napier, is still quite the catch.

“All the women wanted him, but I got him,” the 74-year-old Workman said with a mischievous grin.

“I told her she had a lot of nerve wanting to marry an old coot like me,” he quipped.

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After about a four-year courtship that included a lot of trips back and forth to church and dinners at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the couple is getting married Saturday at the Glorious Church of God in Sybene, where Napier is the pastor.

The couple met at the House of Prayer in Altizer, W.Va. Napier had been married 57 years when his wife died in 1993 and she had been married about 50 years when her husband died in 2000.

Napier had been dating, but finally found someone willing to give the commitment he longed for.

“I just got tired of being alone and I found someone I loved and wanted to be with,” the pastor explained. “I love this woman (Workman), heart, soul and mind.”

Napier said his reasons for his admiration of his fianc/e are pretty simple.

“She doesn’t quarrel at you and that’s something I can’t stand,” Napier said. “And, she preaches for me when I don’t feel good.”

The preaching of the Gospel is the thing both say brought them together. Napier said she does almost as good at giving a sermon as he does; Workman said his preaching is what makes him so attractive.

“I always wanted a man in the ministry, it sure wasn’t his looks,” she joked as she nudged Napier.

They both say that compromise and mutual respect are important components of a successful marriage.

“There are a lot of things that he may like to do that I may not necessarily like, but I do them anyway because I want to please him and make him happy,” she explained.

Napier said he feels being in a relationship that is equal is important.

“It’s supposed to be 50-50. A lot of men think they rule the roost, but it shouldn’t be that way,” he said.

The couple is a good match, said Louella Burns, a member of the Glorious Church of God.

“They are just made for each other. … They look good together and they enjoy each other’s company,” she said.

After their honeymoon, the couple will reside in Huntington, W.Va.