Friday, February 19, 2010

Preventing Divorce in the Two Kansas Cities: A Great Natural Experiment

Kansas City, MO has the high divorce rate we find in most of the country. Kansas City, KS, has cut its divorce rate by 70% in a decade.

Led by Rev. Jeff Meyers, a white pastor from suburban Christ Lutheran Church, and Rev. Leroy Sullivan, a black pastor of the inner-city Bread of Life Church, Kansas City, KS adopted a Community Marriage Policy in 1996. The ministers in town agreed not to perform any marriages until the couple had worked through a pre-marital inventory and worked with mentor couples.

I have long supported Community Marriage Policies. This is the best side-by-side comparison I know of showing how well it can work.


Michael Kruse said...

I've met Sullivan more than once. He is a great guy doing some street level ministry.

Nick Gulliford said...

Great report! Every local authority in the UK should have a policy to promote family stability by neighbourhood. They could start by implementing Conservative party proposals to enable Registrars to signpost couples attending register offices, to marriage preparation and relationship education courses including facilitators using pre-marital inventories. Maybe more churches would follow suit and develop local community marriage policies for couples marrying in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples with the support of other faith groups.