It was 1958 when Kenneth and Pauline McCarthick tied the knot. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, Elvis was in the Army and American Bandstand was wildly popular. Kenneth had just graduated from Tishomingo High School, Pauline from Madill and while the two had only dated for three months, they knew it was love and they were ready to start their lives together.
“When you know, you just know,” Kenneth told me recently. “So, we went down to the Johnston County Courthouse and got married by the Justice of the Peace.”
Once married, the couple moved to Madill where Kenneth worked on a ranch and also spent some time doing concrete and carpentry work while Pauline worked at a factory. Later they moved east of Tishomingo to the Bullard Chapel area and life began to move full speed ahead.
Kenneth spent a lot of time playing music and enjoyed entertaining in a rock and roll band and even a country band for a while. But eventually he felt called to the ministry and began leading music at Bullard Chapel Baptist Church. This led him to return to school to study music evangelism at Murray State and then on to seminary to become a pastor.
“We helped start Calvary Baptist here in Tishomingo and after that became heavily involved in evangelistic work throughout the country,” said Kenneth. “We held revivals in places like Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Alabama. I would do the music and preaching and Pauline would do the puppet ministry.”
As life moved on, the couple decided it was time to come off the road and settle back down in Johnston County. Kenneth served for a while as Pastor at FBC Tushka and then spent 20 years as Pastor at First Baptist Mannsville. After his retirement, he committed to serve as interim pastor whenever needed and has done so at FBC Tishomingo, Milburn, Wapanucka and currently fills the pulpit at Connerville Baptist.
Over the years the couple has worked side by side in missions and ministry. From hospital visits to nursing home stops, the pair has made a life of taking care of those in the congregations they were serving and they’ve also made a life of taking care of each other.
When asked how they’ve managed to enjoy such a long and happy marriage while staying so busy, they both just laugh and then talk about respecting each other, keeping Christ in the middle, not taking each other for granted and being really good at conversation
“We talk a lot and have a lot of fun together,” said Pauline. “When we go on trips we sometimes get to talking so much that we miss our turns or miss where we are going and have to turn around and go back.”
“A couple has got to be able to talk and if they can’t talk then they’d better learn how,” said Kenneth. “You can’t go in to marriage wanting to have everything your own way. It’s a give and take and you’ve got to be able to work things out and talk about it. You’ve got to be willing to stick in there and stick it out.”
This May, Kenneth and Pauline can say they’ve stuck in there and stuck it out for 60 years. Through raising a son, serving in ministry, taking fun trips and enjoying their grandkids, they’ve done it all side by side and heart to heart. Kenneth’s voice still fills with happiness when he talks about Pauline and Pauline still giggles when Kenneth says something funny.
“I’ve preached quite a few weddings and a lot of funerals and one thing I’ve learned is love grows,” said Kenneth. “When you first get married you think you just can’t love the other person more than you do right then but I’m telling you love gets stronger over the years it just does. Love gets better with time.”