Couple unites new life in Valentine’s wedding

Marquis Gordon’El and LaToya Parker celebrate their marriage after Rev. L.T. Gatherings pronounces them husband and wife.
Staff Writer

A couple new to Clay County decide to get married on Valentine’s Day to make their commitment to a life together even firmer.

With his sister and their six children and others looking on, Marquis Gordon’El Sr. and LaToya Parker were married Thursday afternoon by Rev. L. T. Gathings in a ceremony in the Clay County Circuit Court Courtroom.

Tired of the trials and tribulations of life in Newark, N.J., the couple decided to move to Clay County last year. Gordon’El’s sister, Nabeeha Harris, has lived in the county for 17 years and Gordon’El got an opportunity to be the kitchen manager at the new Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet that opened last fall. He moved in late September and LaToya and the children, her four and the two they have together, followed at the end of the year.

They are expecting a seventh child in September. They have four boys and two girls ranging from 1 to 16.

“We’d gotten engaged at the end of 2017 but never got the right time to make it happen,” said Parker, who is experienced school cafeteria chef who is looking for work.

“Instead of relocating up there, we decided to come here. It’s much better for the kids, safer, everything, so much space for them,” she said of the move.

“He said what about getting married on Valentine’s and I said that sounds good. It’s a great day to start a new beginning,” she said.

It helped that the general manager at the KFC also is a minister, Gathings. Having him perform the ceremony was a natural.

“It seemed right, all like a family,” they said.

As Gathings pronounced them husband and wife, the children, sitting a few feet away on a courtroom pew, couldn’t contain their glee any longer, bursting into applause and huge smiles.

“It’s so perfect,” one of them said.