BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY
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 Barnett Wright email@example.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
WILLIAM AND VENUS DAVIS
Married: March 1, 2021
Met: March 2020, online through a Christian dating site. “I jumped in [her inbox] first, and I said something like, ‘hey beautiful, I’m Willie, I would love to get to know you’, and she didn’t respond for a couple of days,” William said. “I was looking to connect with somebody that was different than what I had been used to. I was eager to know the voice behind the face. The conversation over the app was one thing, but I was eager to hear her voice and gauge her personality.”
“I was definitely apprehensive,” Venus said, “this was during the pandemic, everything was shut down and I was just looking for somebody to talk to, I wasn’t looking for anything but a conversation. [I only planned] to keep this app up for 30 days, and it was close to the 30 days when he messaged me. …I introduced myself… We [conversed] for a couple of days on the dating app, and he asked for my number but I didn’t give it to him. . . and told him the last time I gave somebody on [the app] my number they weren’t who they pretended to be. But I [eventually] gave him my number Willie called me right away and we talked for two hours.”
First date: Three weeks later at [an Italian restaurant] and [an ice cream shop] for dessert in Macon, GA.
“It was intimate and a nice place. The food was disgusting but I didn’t want to admit it because it was so expensive,” Venus said. “[After dinner went for dessert], and we sat down outside and ate some ice cream. [The chemistry] was ok, I didn’t feel uncomfortable around him, but it was a first date, and I had my guard up,” she said.
“When I first saw her in person … she looked better than the pictures presented. She was funny and down to earth, but I was nervous. It had been a while since I went on a date, and to really engage with someone on a potentially romantic level was nerve-racking,” William said.
The turn: April 2020, over the phone at their respective homes in Macon, GA.
“We became exclusive in April, but I didn’t want to publicize the relationship because it had only been a month since we met and I still wasn’t sure where it was going,” Venus said. “Around June, we started talking about potential wedding plans. He had brought it up and we were talking heavy about weddings, and I was just answering his questions not thinking anything of it. I guess he had already planned out in his mind that he was gonna marry me.”
“It was a Thursday night when I asked her to officially be my girlfriend, and she did openly say, ‘hey, don’t publicize it’, but I was excited to say the least, so when she said, ‘don’t tell,’ I went and told,” William laughed. “I let a couple of people I was close to know that we were official now, and I was thinking this woman is special on a whole other level. My divorce was finalized in 2019, and I knew that I could have something that I had never had before with Venus.”
The proposal: July 17, 2020, at William’s pastor’s house in Macon, GA, after choir practice.
“It was directly after choir rehearsal, we prayed, and I lead the prayer. After I blessed the food, I said, ‘I have an announcement to make.’ I said, ‘I specifically wanted to thank everyone for the role they played in my life, and Venus for how special she’s been to me in such a short time.’ And then I got down on one knee and said, ‘will you marry me?’” William said.
“I was shocked. I was so surprised I lost my keys that night,” Venus laughed. “The dinner being prepared wasn’t unusual because they always had something going on at the pastor’s house… Usually, I can pinpoint when something like that is about to happen, but I didn’t catch it at all.”
The wedding: The Davis’ had a wedding planned but caught COVID and had to postpone, but then decided to skip the wedding and took their vows at Revival Tabernacle Church, in Macon, GA, officiated by the pastor, Pastor Johnny Ross. Venus wore an olive green blouse and a stripped gold and ivory skirt, and William wore a yellow button-down shirt and black slacks.
Most memorable for the bride was, “how God paved a way for us. We were able to [expedite] Williams’s divorce decree,” Venus said. “One of the most memorable things I remember is when the pastor said when a husband marries a wife, he leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife. And for us, that was the greatest advice at that moment.”
Most memorable for the groom was, “being able to look at Venus in her face and know that my future was staring back at me. Everything that I had desired was coming to pass.”
The couple had a spontaneous honeymoon in Savannah, Georgia, it was also Venus’s birthday weekend. “We enjoyed going horseback riding, it was the first time for both of us, and my butt was hurting,” Venus laughed.
Words of wisdom: “Proverbs 17:9, ‘love answers all things, and love is the beginning of forgiveness.’ Always be open to forgiveness and be willing to forgive because we are all human,” Venus said.
“I’m learning this now more than ever, learn to appreciate your spouse in the good times and the bad times. Understand that both of you are constantly changing and maturing in the process of your marriage. Remember to keep God first in the marriage so while you two develop through the transitions, Holy Spirit can continue to guide you both through this journey as you do life together,” William said.
Happily ever after: The Davis’ relocated to Birmingham, from Macon, Georgia this year, and attend All Nation Worship Assembly in Birmingham, where William serves as a minister, and Venus serves as a personal assistant to the operations team. They are a blended family with three children: Makhi, 14, Caleb, 9, and Gracie, 5.
Venus, 33, is a Sparta, Georgia native, and Hancock Central High School [Sparta, GA] grad. She works as a resource specialist for a women’s shelter in Chelsea and is an active missionary whose most recent trip was to Antigua, Guatemala. Venus said she is ready to go wherever the Lord leads next.
William, 30, is a Killeen, Texas, native, and Pathways Academic Campus graduate [Killeen, Texas]. William is an agency CNA [certified nursing assistant] and takes assignments at various facilities. He is also a grocery clerk at Publix in Hoover.