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True Love Waits celebrates 20-year anniversary comment (0)

February 14, 2013


NASHVILLE — True Love Waits morphed from a nameless concept in coffee break conversations into a movement that, beginning in February 1993, steadily spread to teenagers across the country.

That month, 53 youth at Tulip Grove Baptist Church, Old Hickory, Tenn., committed themselves to sexual abstinence before marriage. 

In the 20 years since, millions of teenagers have followed suit, bringing abstinence to the national conversation and strengthening innumerable marriages before they ever began. The grassroots movement, calling teenagers to make commitments of purity, celebrated its local-church anniversary with a True Love Waits-themed Disciple Now weekend Feb. 1–3 where the first group of Tulip Grove students made a True Love Waits pledge.

Richard Ross, professor of student ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, cofounded the movement with then fellow-LifeWay employee Jimmy Hester. During the 20th anniversary weekend, Ross watched as a second generation pledged their purity before God. 

True Love Waits has spread to more than 100 countries — something for which Ross said only God can receive the credit.

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