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‘The vows you take are not only to your spouse but also to God’

By Anita Debro
Special to the Birmingham Times

“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Ariel Worthy at aworthy@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

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Live: The Winewood community

Married: August 28, 1982

Met: Linda and Robert were 11 years old when they met at First Missionary Baptist Church East Boyles in Tarrant. “We worked in the youth department together,” Linda recalled. “He was the president and I was the vice president.” Robert said they only interacted at church and she was “just the girl who lived down the street.”  That all changed 10 years later while the two were still members of the same church. One day, Robert said, he was set to preach at the church and Linda led the prayer. “I don’t remember what she said but it caught my attention,” he rcalled. “It was something about the way she prayed that day.” A few months later, two days before Valentine’s Day, and Linda and another girl at the church mentioned wanting Valentine’s Day cards and Robert obliged, buying a card for each girl. When he tried to give the card to Linda at church, she told him to give it to her at her house on Valentine’s Day instead.

First date: Valentine’s Day 1982. A day after he first tried to give her the card, Robert met Linda at her house. “Our first date was a sofa sit in her den,” he said. “If she had taken that card at the church we would have never gone on a date.”

The proposal: One month after that first date, Linda and Robert both knew they wanted to be married. Robert said he had talked with his pastor, Clyde Beverly, about his plans to marry Linda and then he asked Linda’s dad. “My dad had wanted me to find someone at his church,” Linda said. “But God worked it out.” Linda said they were not worried about the short courtship. “We knew we were young and knew that it would be a faith walk, but we trusted God and we felt like it was what God wanted for us.”

The wedding: The two were married at First Missionary Baptist Church East Boyles.

Words of wisdom: “Know that the vows you take are not only to your spouse but also to God,” Linda said. “God puts you two together and gives you the strength to keep going. Trust in God.”

Robert added: “Trust in the Lord. Ultimately, our faith is not in each other, but in the Lord.”  Also try focus on the entire person, not just their faults because you will never find someone perfect, Robert said. “If you like 90 percent about the person and dislike 10 percent about the person, then why throw away 90 percent just because of that 10 percent.”

Happily ever after: The Fosters have four adult sons, one grandchild and a daughter-in-law.  They both work at Alabama Power— she is a customer service supervisor and he is a senior technician in distribution and technology.  Robert is also pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Ishkooda.  The Fosters take at least one family trip each year— usually to the beach— with their adult children. They also enjoy spending time as a couple. “When we work the same shift, we ride to work together and we eat lunch together,” Linda said. “We just enjoy being with each other.”