Online Ordained Minister Performing Wedding (Photo)
Can a minister who received online ordination perform weddings?

This article is actually more than a year old, but we think it’s important to put it out there again, mostly because there is still so much confusion about becoming ordained as a minister via the Internet.

Laws in several states – Pennsylvania and Tennessee, in particular – prohibit anyone who received an instant online ordination from performing marriage ceremonies anywhere within their jurisdiction.

What is instant online ordination? Simply put, you (1) go to a website and (2) enter your name, then (3) click a button that (4) automatically generates an “ordination certificate” that you may (5) print out as “proof” that you were ordained. The entire process, if done correctly, shouldn’t take you more than a minute, and it doesn’t involve one moment of human interaction.

Of course, you can put in any name you want – Mickey Mouse, Donald J. TrumpCristiano Ronaldo – and the website will instantly spit out your “ordination certificate.” Of course, if your minister’s credentials are ever called into question in court, how confident are you that the “online church” will back you up?

Ordination through First Nation has been scrutinized by numerous legal authorities over the years, including a court decision in  Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which made the following ruling upholding our process:

“Where there is evidence that a person has been authorized as a ‘minister’ of a ‘regularly-established religious organization’, this Court will not nor should it inquire into the religious precepts, teaching, or counseling related to the marriage ceremony or otherwise provided by any church, religious organization, or congregation. We adopted the broad reading of the Act enunciated by the Court in the O’Neill case and credit First Nation Church and Ministry’s long history and non-profit status.”

You can, of course, apply for ordination via our website, but you are not instantly ordained by our website. Upon receiving your request for ordination, our staff undertakes a review process before sending it along to the church’s board for final approval. Our ordination process complies fully with all federal, state and local laws and regulations in all fifty states.

 Ready to become legally ordained? Click here.

 For more information on this subject, please click here to read the full article on the validity of online ordination by William F. Hoffmeyer, Esq., a founding partner in the Law Firm of Hoffmeyer & Semmelman of York, Penn.

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