Texas Couple Makes it From Streets to Altar With Church's Help

PHOTO: Bryan Prejean and Wanda Ware met through Houstons First Baptist Church in Texas when they were both homeless and they married on April 7, 2013, with help from their congregation.
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A Texas couple who met when they were both homeless are now enjoying their honeymoon days after tying the knot at the church that helped them get back on their feet.

The new bride is still "speechless" when she thinks about the generosity of the church community that helped her go from the streets to the altar.

"The church is so loving and so kind. I was speechless," Wanda Ware told ABCNews.com of her Sunday wedding. "I found myself in tears a lot of times because I just didn't think anyone could love me that much."

Ware, 57, met Bryan Prejean, 44, seven years ago in Houston, Texas, when both of them were down on their luck. Ware was working at a homeless care center and facing homelessness herself when she left an abusive marriage. She met Prejean when he arrived at the facility from Louisiana and was looking for somewhere to stay.

Ware showed Prejean around the center and didn't really think anything of him, she said. Once she was out of her abusive marriage, a friend of Prejean's told her that Prejean really liked her. They started dating and both got involved with Houston's First Baptist Church.

When the couple got engaged, the church rallied around them to give them a beautiful wedding.

"Wanda came to the church first and at that time she was living on the streets," Pastor Lee Hsia, who married the couple, told ABCNews.com. "She was just looking for some encouragement and I think she also came looking for new friends. She had a great experience at the church, the welcoming environment and a welcoming community of people."

A hair stylist who is a member of the church donated her services and recruited a friend who is a makeup artist to do the same. The church's wedding coordinator donated a cake, a couple donated rings and yet another person donated photography services.

Community members also pitched in to pay for the dress, flowers and the couple's honeymoon to Galveston.

"It was very exciting, lots of feelings of hope," Hsia said of the ceremony. "It gives inspiration for those that are down and out to find hope in God and in the community."

Ware was given away at the altar by her Bible study teacher. When the officiant asks who is giving the bride away, the customary answer from the bride's father is, "Her mother and I." When the teacher was asked at Ware's wedding, he said, "The church family and I."

"It was an awesome wedding and I just feel like I'm so blessed by God," Ware said.

Ware has big plans for her future. She wants to start college this summer and hopes to get a degree in case management and social work in order to give back to women like her.

"I'm going into case management to help others who are going through what I went through," she said. "I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not where I used to be."

She is also working on a church ministry targeted towards women in distress who are struggling with issues like abuse, alcoholism and drugs. She also wants to focus on helping people who want to get college degrees, but are struggling with those problems.

Prejean has carpentry skills and has found contracts in construction and remodeling. The couple now have a place to live in Houston.

"A few years ago, I was in a tough situation and when I look back at it and I look now at my life, it's like I'm speechless. It's awesome how you can turn your life around," Ware said from her waterfront honeymoon hotel room. "My honeymoon is great. I'm watching the waves come in."

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