I met Dr Marvin and Mrs. Fay Neill at WHTN over twenty years ago in the rental WHTN facility we called our TV studio. They were interested in launching a weekly television program called “Revelation of the Word”.
Some twenty years and 1,000 episodes later they are still doing a weekly show on WHTN. Their weekly show has grown a loyal audience and now they also have their very own ROKU Channel. Clearly the Neill’s have what it takes to persevere and flourish by faith.
The Rest is Up to You
Their ability to persevere is also exemplified by their fifty-seven years of marriage. The Neill’s met when Fay’s Pastor invited Marvin (home from college on summer break) to come preach at his church one Sunday night. After service Pastor Pharr told Fay, “I invited him for you, the rest is up to you.”
After that divine introduction Marvin and Fay dated three months in person. Then Marvin returned to college making it necessary for them to date through daily letters for the next ten months. Dr. and Mrs. Neill still have every one of those letters. Occasionally they had in person dates, but they stayed close (even while miles apart) by reading the Bible and praying every evening at the same time.
The Neill’s relationship is so filled with love that I knew I had to have them on Bridges to tell their story. I knew viewers would benefit from seeing their commitment to God, and each other, Together they built a life, family, and ministry, founded in God’s love. They have faced hardship, witnessed miracles, and prayed for countless thousands.
Breast Cancer Survivor
I’ll never forget one particular Bridges interview with the Neill’s. During that episode Mrs. Neill shared that she was a breast cancer survivor. Her fight against cancer included a double mastectomy. As she shared her journey and miraculous recovery, she made a statement that spoke volumes. She said she never worried during her cancer treatment or surgery that Dr. Neill would love her less. She said she was completely secure in their marriage.
Sadly, very few people can make statements like that and truly mean it. That’s why I wanted to share part of the Neill’s story on Secrets from the Studio. It’s from Christian couples like the Neill’s that we can learn so much. With that in mind I asked the Neill’s to share three secrets to building a lasting marriage.
Secret # 1 Keep your priorities in this order: God, Spouse, Family, Work, and Church.
Secret #2 Respect and share the opinions and interests of your spouse.
Secret # 3 Have a Healthy Sense of Humor.
Today’s Secrets from the Studio will transform your marriage and family. Thank you, Dr. and Mrs. Neill, for setting an example worth following.
Monica Schmelter is the General Manager of WHTN, Christian Television Network and host of daily television show Bridges. When people ask her why she smiles and nods so much while she’s interviewing guests she replies, “Oh that’s simple I am trying to think of what to say next”. You can watch Bridges on demand at monicaschmelter.com