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The Dart: Vidalia couple says marriage success comes from ministry

Ralph and Ann Webber have been married for 60 years. Both started a life of ministry in the 1950s and continue that life today.  (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Ralph and Ann Webber have been married for 60 years. Both started a life of ministry in the 1950s and continue that life today. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — When people ask Ralph Webber what the secret to being married for 60 years is, he replies simply.

“Always saying, ‘Yes ma’am,’” he jokes.

In truth, Ralph said the real secret to he and his wife Ann’s marital longevity is their faith and their teamwork in their ministry.

When The Dart landed on Dogwood Drive in Vidalia Tuesday, the Webber’s were relaxing after a morning funeral for a friend.

The Webber’s have devoted their lives to their ministry.

The couple met while both were attending the New Orleans Seminary, where Ralph was studying to be a minister and where he would later receive a doctorate in ministry.

“I remember people telling me that love at first sight wasn’t real,” Ralph said. “But when I saw Ann, I knew immediately she was the right one.”

The two have been a team ever since.

Their ministry has taken them all around the country and even abroad to Jamaica and South Korea.

Ralph was pastor at First Baptist Church in Vidalia, where the two now attend, for 13 years during which time Ann was the director of the preschool.

At each stop along the way the couple has worked closely together to leave places better than they found them.

“Everywhere we have gone, we have built something,” Ann said.

Even now for Ralph and Ann at 84 and 82-years-old respectively, they keep moving and their age does not show because of it.

“We keep busy, between work at the church, funerals and weddings,” Ralph said. “It is how we stay young.”

Their work has always been and continues to be a constant in their lives.

“We have had some hard times like any couple, but we are proud at what we have accomplished together,” Ralph said. “I sure have been blessed to have as wonderful a wife as I do.”