Fifty Years and Still Going Strong: The Richardsons’ Love Story

In celebration of their 50th year together, the dynamic duo of Pastor Curtis Richardson and his wife, Joyce Richardson, were joined amongst family, friends, and community at Hodel’s Country Dining. 

(Photo Credit: Jason Land, Jr.)

By Jason Land, Jr. | Contributing Writer

In celebration of their 50th year together, the dynamic duo of Pastor Curtis Richardson and his wife, Joyce Richardson, were joined amongst family, friends, and community at Hodel’s Country Dining. 

On June 29th, laughter and joy filled the dining hall as the marriage of Emeritus Curtis H. Richardson and Emerita Joyce M. Richardson was celebrated. People from across California gathered to honor this milestone with the couple, from the Bay area in San Francisco, to Lancaster and Fresno. The afternoon of tangible love began with an invigorating prayer from Pastor Aaron Hosey of the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, followed by a touching scripture from his First Lady, Annie Hosey. 

27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28Her Children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates,” quoted Lady Hosey from Proverbs 31: 27-31. 

The scripture is but a clear teaching in which honoree Emerita Joyce Richardson embodied throughout her marriage, a lesson she took in order to uphold the strength and foundation of a God-fearing union. 

Todd Ward, the son in law of the honorees, represented the family with an official warm welcoming to all in attendance. The attendees rose in a standing ovation to welcome the Richardson’s as they made their entrance and were escorted to their seats. As the hall lit up around Pastor Richardson and First Lady Joyce, the song of “Falling in Love with Jesus” was played by Gregory Hines. 

“We are really here to recognize the love they have shared for each other for fifty years!” exclaimed Todd Ward.

With the honorees seated, lunch began, allowing a time of fellowship and communion amongst those who came to commemorate the Richardsons’ union. During lunch, several attendees shared their testimonies to the joy and love Emeritus and Emerita Richardson brought into their lives. One family was Tim and Marcha Hay, who expressed their gratitude for Joyce Richardson. Joyce was Marcha’s mother’s caregiver for several years and was there when her mother passed away while Marcha lived in Sacramento. As a double amputee, Marcha’s mother needed someone who was caring and showed God’s love, and Joyce was there to be that woman. Marcha and Joyce’s friendship has stood as a testament to their joint love and Marcha’s appreciation for over 25 years. 

“She was there. She ran the whole show twenty-four seven. She was me when I couldn’t be there!” shared Marcha Hay.

(Photo Credit: Jason Land, Jr.)

After lunch, Crystal Jackson and Dr. Nadine Scott graced the hall with beautiful selections of “Best of Me” and “Total Praise,” adding a touch of musical soul to the celebration. These renditions not only praised God, but served as symbolization for the long and successful years of marriage, achieved only through their devotion to God. 

First AA, Dr. Duane McCalister, was called as the officiant of the ceremony to renew Curtis and Joyce’s vows as witness to their forever vitalized love and devotion to one another. 

“God has willed that the Christian marriage is primarily an act of the will. It is the born in love nourished in growing affection of maturing and faithfulness. Every effort, human, and divine should be implored to preserve it. It is God’s will that this union be strong enough to bring you through all temptation, indifference, adversity, discord in the home, and a love grown cold– all of which may continue to threaten the marriage bond between husband and wife. This should be remembered as you now declare your desire to renew your vows,” said Dr. Duane McCallister. 

Shortly after the renewal of vows, First Lady Martha Hudson shook the room with her moving rendition of “Never Would Have Made It”, sending the hall into an uproar of praise only caused by the Holy Spirit! This selection transitioned into the sharing of heartfelt reflections among different members who had been touched by the love of Pastor Curtis Richardson and First Lady Joyce Richardson. 

“My daughter was pregnant and going back and forth to the hospital. She didn’t have that baby. Pastor Richardson and Mother Richardson came to my apartment and went into the room and prayed. [Pastor Richardson] told me, Monday morning, we’re going to have a baby.’ That Monday morning, my daughter told me she was ready. We had a six pound baby girl!” cheered Angie Dyer, a friend and fellow child of Christ with the Richardsons. 

“When I look at the number fifty, it was God that told the disciples to go into the upper room and on the fiftieth day– the day of pentecost– said, ‘I’m going to send you somebody just like me.’ Amen,” spoke Pastor Armentha Hines, friend of the Richardsons. 

“Aunt Joyce, you are absolutely stunning. Uncle Curtis, you are handsome and we absolutely love you!” said Gennie Richardson Lewis, niece of the Richardsons. She followed her statement with a recital of the poem, ‘Bands of Gold’ by Judith Bond. 

When asked about their own opinion on the reason their marriage has stood the test of time, Pastor Richardson mentioned faith was at the top of his list. He stated their marriage was based on scripture in the bible. With God at the top of their list, faith was the main factor guiding them through their fifty years of marriage. First Lady Richardson mentioned that the secret to maintaining a strong and loving marriage was purely God. She mentioned that without keeping God in the center of everything, they wouldn’t have made it. 

The event ended with a closing prayer from ‘The Golden Gentleman’ himself, Emeritus Curtis H. Richardson. He and his wife, Joyce, closed with despite this event being about their monumental anniversary, they “wanted the Lord to shower down on the people.” Needless to say, the spirit engulfed everyone in that room, all thanks to the love and support of the community Pastor Richardson and First Lady Joyce Richardson fostered!