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He Told Me, ‘Just Set the [Wedding] Date and I’ll Meet You There’



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, bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

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Live: McCalla

Married: Nov. 28, 1998

Met: October 1996, during Magic City Classic weekend at a Kappa Alpha Psi Party in Birmingham. “I was at the party with another female, and I saw Lisa [and decided to] take the other female home. When I got back, I asked her to dance and we danced a few songs, and we exchanged numbers, but at the time I had a beeper, and I said, ‘if you page me, I promise I will call you right back,’ and Lisa said, ‘I don’t call men’,” Lincoln recalled.

“Then I asked if he was married because he was giving me a pager number and he told me he was not married but was divorced. And I told him (from the beginning) that he was not my type,” Lisa laughed, “I told him he was too short and too light brown for me.”

“And I told her, ‘listen here, I’m 6’5, you just don’t know it yet,” Lincoln laughed. Lincoln left his pager number with Lisa anyway, and she paged him two days later and true to his word, he called her back immediately.

First date: November 1996, at O’Charley’s on Lakeshore Dr. Lincoln had asked Lisa out to lunch. “He still wasn’t 6’5, Lisa laughed, “but we had a very good lunch. We laughed and talked and got to know each other. We became friends and stayed friends for a long time,” she said.

“Our conversation was great, we really enjoyed ourselves,” Lincoln recalled.

The turn: By the spring of 1997, they were an item. “The communication was good, the vibe was there and everything was beautiful. Things blossomed from that point, and we went to the next level,” said Lincoln.

The proposal: October 1998, while driving up Interstate 20/59. “I can’t remember nothing, I blacked out,” Lincoln joked.

“We never really had a proposal, we had a conversation and the conversation was that he can’t keep getting the milk for free, he has to buy the cow,” Lisa said. “At that time we were pretty much living under the same roof. And Lincoln told me ‘Just set the date and I’ll meet you there’.”

Lisa continued, “I called my girlfriend, Pam, and told her that Lincoln said, ‘to set the date and he’ll meet me there’, so we can start looking at dates. And Pam said, ‘What? Y’all been together two years and you’re gonna wait another one? No ma’am, your birthday [November 28] is coming up, that’s the date’ And we married on my birthday, 30 days from the date of the conversation and we just celebrated 25 years [of marriage],” Lisa said.

The wedding: At First Baptist Church Kingston in Birmingham, officiated by Minister Arthur Threadford, and Pastor Whayman Fairbanks of First Baptist Church Kingston. Their colors were black and white.

Most memorable for the bride were several small moments. “Lincoln says that’s when I realized he was 6’5,” Lisa laughed. “I remember walking down the aisle and my brother, George, was my escort and he asked me, ‘Are you sure about this? Cuz if you’re not we can take this train up and run right back out the door’, and that was one of the funniest moments ever. It really was a blessed day. It was a candlelight wedding, I had 12 girls [in the wedding party], and friends came from all over to be there. Seeing the beauty of everything and how it all came together was awesome,” Lisa said.

Most memorable for the groom was watching his bride walk down the aisle to a song that illuminated the moment. “When I saw her coming down the aisle and they were singing ‘Flesh of my Flesh’, by Leon Patillo, and the words ‘flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone’ was a moment for me, I didn’t take [the lyrics] lightly,” Lincoln said.

Their reception was at the 1958 Stonegate House on Liberty Parkway, and they stayed in one of the suites. “And I remember when we got into the suite, we were surrounded by gifts, there were presents everywhere… But we were so tired we got straight in bed and went to sleep,” Lincoln said.

Words of wisdom: “Put God first. When you put God first you can overcome anything. Don’t go to bed angry, and don’t be too big to apologize and say, ‘I’m sorry,’” Lisa said.

“Marriage is not for the weak or the weary. It’s harder than a job because a job you can leave and go home. But marriage is something you wake up with every day, you go to sleep with it, and when you wake up it’s still there. Marriage is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and it’s a lot of work, but it’s been worth it for us,” Lincoln said. “A lot of people think that after 25 years the work is over, but it’s just begun because everyday people are evolving and growing. You gotta have a higher power in your life besides you. If you think you’re gonna run this race by yourself it’s gonna be a hard run. Faith is what you need to stand on and fall back on, you’re gonna need it.”

Happily ever after: The Blues are members of First Baptist Church Kingston, in Birmingham where Lisa serves as co-chair of the board of trustees, and have six children, daughters, the late Diantoinette and Micah, 18, sons, Darius, 39, Arthur, 35, Lincoln II, 31, and Isaiah, 6. They also have 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Lisa, 59, is a Bessemer native, and McAdory High School grad. She attended Southeastern Bible College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in leadership ministry and Liberty University [online] where she earned a master’s degree in human services and counseling. Lisa works for Alabama Power as part of the charitable giving team.

Lincoln, 60, is a Gardendale native, and Gardendale High School grad. He attended Jacksonville State University, where he studied communications, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He is a retired Birmingham police officer, [served 20 years], and works for the state of Alabama as a bailiff for Circuit Court Judge Reginald Jeter.

The Blues also own Micah’s Boutique, an apparel and accessories shop for women and men, in Hueytown, and have a catering company called I’mani’s Catering.

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