Tennessee Ruling – July 1, 2019


To Tennessee Ministers

As of July 1, 2019, the state of Tennessee has chosen not to recognize ministers who were ordained online.  This new ruling includes ordination made online through our ministry and other ministries that offer online ordination.

You are still able to do weddings/legal ceremonies in other states. Weddings done in TN before July 1, 2019 are not affected.  Your ordination through this ministry is official and recognized throughout the US and internationally, although TN has chosen not to recognize ministers who were ordained online.

God calls one to minister and there is no license needed to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Continue to do the good work that you do.  But, if you are seeking to do a wedding or other legal ceremony in the state of Tennessee please contact your local county clerk’s office.

If you disagree with this new law, we suggest that you:

  1. Contact your local county and state representative and voice your opposition to this new law. The law seems to have been passed with little publicity or debate. Representatives may have been unaware of how their vote would negatively impact their constituents.
  2. Contact Governor   Bill Lee 
  3. Contact your county clerk’s office to find out how they are handling this law.  Ask them how you are to proceed with weddings that are already planned. Be sure to ask them what steps you can take to ensure that your ordination is recognized, or if not, what you should do.
  4. File a complaint with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. Many feel that this new law allows the state to arbitrate religious decisions that only individuals can make and that only the couple should be allowed to decide what sort of religious leader can perform their wedding. Under the new law, this decision has been granted to government officials.

Not sure who to contact in your area? http://myreps.datamade.us/

This is an unfortunate situation for those seeking to do legal ministry ceremonies in the state of TN.   We are seeking to find a solution to the valuable men and women in Tennessee.

Serve Admirably,

Minister L. Johnson, Director of Ministry Outreach



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