Tue | Sep 21, 2021

A love story withstanding condemnation by the church

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2020 | 12:14 AMOlivia Brown - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Milton and Yonique Sergeant
Milton and Yonique Sergeant

A love story of two teachers cemented on a mutual, undying love for the classroom and Christ started out as a tumultuous journey; one filled with criticism and hurdles.

Yonique Palmer-Sergeant, a teacher at Glenmuir High School in Clarendon, shared with The Sunday Gleaner the road to her happily-ever-after with husband, Milton Sergeant, a teacher at Foga Road High, also in the parish.

She said that her husband had a love for Christianity since childhood.

“He really loved the Lord, and he would have all of us as young people in prayer meetings and fasting services. Their family home was the worship home for all of us,” she recalled.

Sharing the start of their love story, Yonique said, “Just before he left for college, his sister Kemesha, my best friend, told me how much her brother respected me. I said, ‘No sah, me too afraid a dat deh man deh’.”

She detailed the stark disapproval of their relationship by their former church, as leaders asserted that their relationship was ‘not of God’ and unorthodox.

“It so happened that one day as he was helping me to prepare for an exam, he opened up to me about how he felt. We decided that we would pray about it and he also decided to go to our now deceased overseer,” she said.

“This did not go down well based on the doctrines of the church, which stated that you must get a prophecy before you can get married. This one message that we shared to get the blessings of the church escalated to another level. Both our parents were called into meetings. His parents and my parents loved us, but the pressure was real for them.”

Things became so bad that Yonique said she vacated her family home.

“The only way to take my parents, especially my father who was a minister in the church, out of the turmoil, and also my husband’s parents, out of the hot water, was just to plan a small wedding,” she said.

NEW HURDLES

The wedding, however, unfolded new hurdles for the Sergeants.

“The day I got married was the beginning of another saga. We were told that once we went out of the will of God we would have to be disfellowshipped, so we knew we had to find a new church to call home,” Yonique shared.

“At least our parents were saved since they had nothing to do with it. We then started our journey in a new denomination, which we are still a part of today. We not only got casted out from the fellowship, but were now looked down on by many, even those who were dear friends to us.”

An enthused Yonique, now a business owner and teacher, said life with her husband who serves in the capacities of teacher, athletic coach and minister is a testimony.

“We now celebrate 18 years of marriage with three wonderful kids, defying the odds that they might become handicapped,” she beamed.

She added that they have moved towards mending the relationship with their former church.

“We do visit quite often. God turned around what the enemy meant for evil. Our motivation over the years is trusting God to take what was not right to make it right. If we should do this over again, we would do it the same way. The religious death sentence and condemnation that was pronounced upon us was just redirected by God, thus catapulting us to higher levels of faith and trust in the Lord,” she said.

Today, the two use the experience to mentor other young couples.

“The Lord has blessed us immeasurably, to the point where we have helped many young people who were having similar or other issues before getting married. Our testimony has helped them to take their bold steps,” said Yonique.

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