Is American Marriage Ministries: Legal or Not? Ordination is typically the final step in a long and usually expensive process that includes dedicating one’s life to ministry, completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and fulfilling the necessities for your religion or faith tradition.
Many people who might want to become ordained without going through the process of committing their lives to ministry will be delighted to know that they can be ordained online.
There are a few online ordination organizations, but not all are legal. Amongst a list of others, people have also wondered if American Marriage Ministries is legal.
American Marriage Ministries: Legal or Not?
American Marriage Ministries is a legitimate organization that provides ordination services to individuals who wish to officiate weddings and other religious ceremonies. The organization is legally recognized in all 50 states in the United States.
In the United States, marriage laws are governed by individual states, and each state has different requirements for who can legally perform a wedding ceremony. In many states, including California, Florida, New York, and Texas, individuals ordained through American Marriage Ministries are legally authorized to act on weddings.
Overall, American Marriage Ministries is a legal and reputable organization that provides a valuable service to those who wish to officiate weddings and other religious ceremonies.
However, it’s important to note that while American Marriage Ministries can provide the necessary ordination to officiate weddings, it’s up to the individual to ensure they comply with their specific state’s laws and regulations. Additionally, some states may have particular requirements, such as registration or additional documentation, that must be met to perform a legal marriage ceremony.
While many people still take traditional routes to ordination; through seminary or theological studies, other options are now available to the public as well.
Options like online ordination have become more popular, especially now that many people prefer friends or family to be the ones to officiate their marriage.
The United States of America marriage laws dictate that to perform wedding ceremonies; you must be an ordained member of one of the established American marriage ministries here in the United States.
American Marriage Ministries is an IRS Certified 501c3 non-profit, non-denominational constitutional church established on July 4th of, 2009.
American Marriage Ministries offers online training tools and free guidance available for ministers.
The church ordains people online so that they can officiate weddings for friends, family, and other members of society.
Their headquarters is in Seattle, Washington state. They have ministers nationwide and maintain corporate filings in states where required.
They also work closely with government offices nationwide to ensure that their ministers’ rights to officiate weddings are recognized.
In some cases, becoming a legally ordained minister is required to start a church, serve as a minister in a residential institution like a nursing home, and conducting weddings and funerals.
People who seek ordination for engaging in such activities or merely for personal spiritual reasons may be able to become lawfully ordained ministers for free through online ordination organizations.
The American Marriage Ministries is a secular non-denominational organization that does not promote any specific religious ideologies, instead allowing its ministers to define their practice and faith.
Some alternative organizations that identify as non-denominational, Wiccan/pagan, etc., also offer ordinations.
Ordinations from these non-traditional groups also carry the same legal standing as those issued by “mainstream” religion.
The American Marriage Ministries is open to anyone, and the online application form takes about one minute.
If you are becoming ordained to perform a wedding or funeral ceremony, check your state’s laws about who can officiate in these services before seeking your free ordination.
American Marriage Ministries has ordained ministers from various backgrounds and religions, including Christians, atheists, Wiccans, pagans, Jews, and people of many other faiths.
However, some states allow anyone to perform these ceremonies. In contrast, others require the person to be a government official or leader of a church or religious community who their religious organization formally ordained.
Drawing on the freedom of religion clause in the United States Constitution, AMM provides free ordination, advocacy, and training for their ministers to ensure that all people have the right to marry and perform a marriage.
They have ordained over 1,057,870 ministers who have officiated weddings across the United States.
Officiant Training At American Marriage Ministries Includes:
How to Write a Wedding Ceremony
How to Fill Out a Marriage License
Ceremony Scripts Library
How to Register By State
US Marriage Laws
Online Ordination Is Not Recognized As Legal In North Carolina.
Getting married in North Carolina is relatively simple. All you have to do is decide to marry each other in front of an ordained minister and two witnesses and have that minister pronounce you married.
However, having a friend or relative go online and get ordained to perform your wedding ceremony is not quite as simple.
Not just anyone can perform your ceremony. In North Carolina, you can not just have a friend or family member go online and get ordained, and Online ordination is not considered legal in NC.
Virtual weddings are also not legal in North Carolina. You must be physically present with your officiant and two witnesses for the marriage to be valid.
North Carolina law firmly implies that marriages performed by persons with no certificate of ordination other than a certificate from online Churches are invalid.
As much as we all want to celebrate love on our wedding day, we also need to ensure that the legal aspects are taken care of.
The Universal Life Church has been found guilty of fraud in North Carolina for stating that their ordination is valid.
So people also wonder about other online ordination institutions such as American Marriage Ministries or the American Fellowship Church.
However, legal experts in North Carolina agree that marriages performed by any online institution would also be deemed invalid.
If an institution is similar to the Universal Life Church, a court will treat any marriage performed by one of their “ministers” as null.
The reasonable thing to do is to find a professional wedding officiant who is entirely and lawfully ordained by a true church or religious denomination. However, just because you need a minister does not mean you have to have a religious ceremony.
Your friend or family member can still participate in the ceremony meaningfully while guaranteeing the legitimacy of your marriage.
The state of North Carolina says that marriages may be performed by “an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate.”
Correspondingly, a “church” is legally defined as an organization with a distinct legal existence, designated places of worship, regular congregations, and ordained ministers appointed after completing prescribed courses of study.
In other words, ministers must have been ordained by a “brick-and-mortar” church.
However, there are many practicing ministers in North Carolina with online ordinations. While the legal status of those marriages may never be questioned, there is the chance that they could be considered nonbinding in a court of law.
To be married in North Carolina, you must apply for and receive a Marriage License before your wedding date. Only you and your partner can obtain a license; no one else can do it for you.
Marriage licenses may be acquired in any county in North Carolina and used in any county. This means you do not have to get the permit in the county you are marrying, and you can get it wherever it is most suitable for you.
The Register of Deeds office in a given county issues marriage licenses, and most counties in this area will allow you to start the application process online.
Many Register of Deeds offices is currently requiring appointments due to COVID-19 restrictions. You are strongly advised to call the Register of Deeds office to confirm their current policies.
Both partners must be present when you visit the Register of Deeds office to pick up your license.
You must show photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc.) and proof of your social security number with verification through your Social Security Cards or W-2 Forms.
Divorced applicants must provide the date of their divorce, and some counties will request an original or certified copy of the Divorce Decree.
Because not all counties are constant in their requirements, it is recommended that you call the office at which you intend to apply to learn of their detailed requirements before you go.
Furthermore, if one of the partners is not an American citizen, it is best to call the office where you plan to apply for your license to learn what paperwork you need.
It is illegal to perform a ceremony without a valid marriage license.
After officiating your ceremony, the minister will complete your marriage license and sign it with your two witnesses (you should have already signed it at the courthouse).
You will be sent a scanned copy for verification purposes. Your marriage license will be mailed to the issuing county the next business day.
It is essential to know that the Register of Deeds office does not automatically provide you with a certified copy of the license following your ceremony.
In writing, you must request a certified copy from the Register of Deeds office. When you receive your license, the issuing county will provide instructions for obtaining the certified copy. Most counties will allow you to order the accredited copy online, which will then be mailed to you.
American Marriage Ministries is legally a secular non-denominational organization that does not promote any specific religious ideologies, instead allowing its ministers to define their practice and faith.
All American Marriage Ministries marriage officiants can legally perform a marriage anywhere in the United States.