Can a person who is licensed as a minister by a major denomination but who is not ordained, perform marriages?

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Can a person who is licensed as a minister by a major denomination but who is not ordained, perform marriages?

The person in question is a licensed Southern Baptist minister, but he is not ordained, nor is he a notary public. Can he legally perform marriages in SC?

Asked on February 2, 2011 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is what I have found regarding officiants in South Carolina:

"Ministers of the gospel who are authorized to administer oaths in this state may perform marriages. Ministers must complete the marriage license and give one copy to the parties and the other two must be returned to the county judge of probate who issued it within 15 days after the marriage. Members of the Notary Public can also perform marriages in South Carolina."

So we rule out the last line because the party is not a Notary.  The statement says "Ministers" and you claim that the person is a "licensed Minister" although not "ordained."  Is the difference specific to your particular sect of Southern baptist ministry or just not required to be able to preach the Faith you have chosen to follow?  You realize that everyone needs to obtain a marriage license no matter who ends up officiating the ceremony.  And honestly I would double check with your local county Judge of Probate just to be sure.   


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