Mississippi Synod Information
Marriage in Mississippi/ MS County Clerks Addresses
Organizational Information
Statement of Beliefs
Functions of the Clergy
Information and guidance for clergy
Dress for the Clergy
Marriage in Mississippi/ MS County Clerks Addresses
Wedding Ceremonies
Funeral Planning
Grief Counseling
Matriarchs and Patriarchs
Council of Elders
Terms and Definitions


Marriage is unique in that in most jurisdictions, a marriage conducted by an approved ordained minister has legal ramifications. A marriage is a union recognized, not just by the religious organization, but also by the State. That means, that for a marriage to be valid, the requirements of the State must be met.

It is your responsibility to determine and follow the laws governing marriage in your particular jurisdiction. Generally there are two elements to be aware of. First there are the laws governing the two individuals being married, and these laws cover issues such as (but not necessarily limited to) age, relationship, blood tests, licensing etc. And secondly, most jurisdictions require some form of registration of the ministry with the civil authority.

In some jurisdictions, it is sufficient to be ordained and authorized to perform marriages by the governing body of your Church that means no further action is required by our clergy in these areas. In some other jurisdictions, individual ministers have to register with local authorities such as the County Clerk. In others, registration is required by the Church at the State / Province / National level. If you find yourself having to resolve the registration situation yourself, we suggest the following to research the issue:

a. Contact the authority in your jurisdiction who issues marriage licenses and ask what is required for an ordained minister to officiate in legal marriages; or

b. Search the web using as search terms "Marriage" or "Marriage Authority", and the name of your state; or

c. Find your State / Provincial government web site and search it using the key word of "Marriage" or "Marriage Authority;" or

d. Head down to your local library and research the old fashioned way from books.

If you find your local regulations too restrictive [for example, some jurisdictions require proof of a minimum size congregation meeting weekly] then there may be alternative means of obtaining authority to perform civil marriages, such as becoming a marriage commissioner, justice of the peace etc.

Note: Some jurisdictions limit clerical marriage authority to "Ministers of the Gospel." In countries that claim separation of Church and State, it is not logical that this is intended to limit such authority to Christian clergy. Accordingly, we believe such laws refer to the broad definition rather than the narrow. Within the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic, the Gospel is made up of the following sections of the main web site: Discussion of the Articles of Faith; the Ethics section; and Meditations. These sections constitute Church Doctrine and the examples and parables that serve to teach the message of the Church. We consider all clergy ordained by the Church to be Ministers of the Gospel.

Marriage Laws in Mississippi:

Any ordained minister for the gospel who is in good standing with his or her church may perform marriages. Ministers must send a certificate of marriage to the clerk who issued the marriage license within 3 months after the marriage. For questions in each individual county, see the clerk of the circuit court.

Information for those wishing to marry in Mississippi:

Here's what you need to know to make the marriage legal in Mississippi. In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document in your state that allows you to officially tie the knot under the law. The rules for acquiring your marriage license varies from state to state, so you should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.

You'll typically need to apply for your marriage license at least one month before your wedding ceremony. You'll traditionally need to send in your birth certificates, tax information, and other official documents. You don't, however, want to apply for your marriage license too early. In some states, the licenses do expire, if you don't get married within a few months.

When you apply for your license, you'll not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee. You will also need to have a witness when you sign the application, so plan on bringing your maid of honor or best man with you. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. You'll have to write that name on the application. And, believe it or not, just because you have your marriage license sent to you in the mail does not mean you are officially married. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your chaplain your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.

ID Requirement: Picture id such as Drivers License. Having your Social Security card, Birth Certificate, etc. may be helpful. Bring some friends with you, because witnesses need to sign your application, too.

Residency Requirement: Do not have to be a resident of Mississippi.

Previous Marriages: You need to know the date (mm/dd/yy) and how the last marriage ended. If it was within the last 6 months, you will need to bring proof of the divorce that can be left with the Clerk.

Application Requirement: Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the time of applying.

Waiting Period: No waiting period.

Fees: $22 - Cash Only.

Blood Tests: Blood test within 30 days showing that both applicants are free from syphilis. The results can be from any laboratory (in state or out of state) that is authorized to do pre-marital syphilis testing and is registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Under 21: Parental consent is needed if under 21 years of age. If parents or guardians do not give consent at time of application, they will be notified via certified mail. The marriage application will be held for three (3) days. Marriage licenses cannot be issued to males under 17, or females under 15 years of age. If the clerk receives a signed authorization from the parents, this minimum age requirement can be waived.

Proxy Marriages: No.

Common Law Marriage: No.

Cousin Marriages: No.

Same Sex Marriages: No.

Officiates: Any ordained minister of the gospel who is in good standing with his or her church, mayors, local Board of Supervisors members, and judges of the state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit court, Chancery court, Justice court, or County court may perform marriages. Officiates must send a certificate of marriage to the clerk who issued the marriage license within three months after the marriage.

Valid: License is valid for 30 days and can only be used within the State of Mississippi.


List of Mississippi County Clerk's Offices:

Adams County
Natchez, MS

Alcorn County
Corinth, MS

Amite County
Liberty, MS

Attala County
Kosciusko, MS

Benton County
Ashland, MS

Bolivar County
Cleveland, MS

Calhoun County
Pittsboro, MS

Carroll County
Carrollton, MS

Chickasaw County
Houston, MS

Claiborne County
Port Gibson, MS

Clay County
West Point, MS

Coahoma County
Clarksdale, MS

Copiah County
Hazlehurst, MS

Covington County
Collins, MS

De Soto County
Hernando, MS

Forrest County
Hattiesburg, MS

Franklin County
Meadville, MS

George County
Lucedale, MS

Greene County
Leakesville, MS

Grenada County
Grenada, MS

Hancock County
Bay St. Louis, MS

Harrison County
Gulfport, MS

Hinds County
Raymond, MS

Holmes County
Lexington, MS

Itawamba County
Fulton, MS

Jackson County
Pascagoula, MS

Jefferson Davis County
Prentiss, MS

Jones County
Laurel, MS

Lafayette County
Oxford, MS

Lamar County
Purvis, MS

Lauderdale County
Meridian, MS

Leake County
Carthage, MS

Lee County
Tupelo, MS

Leflore County
Greenwood, MS

Lincoln County
Brookhaven, MS

Lowndes County
Columbus, MS

Madison County
Canton, MS

Marion County
Columbia, MS

Marshall County
Holly Springs, MS

Monroe County
Aberdeen, MS

Montgomery County
Winona, MS

Neshoba County
Philadelphia, MS

Newton County
Decatur, MS

Noxubee County
Macon, MS

Oktibbeha County
Starkville, MS

Panola County
Batesville, MS

Pearl River County
Poplarville, MS

Pike County
Magnolia, MS

Prentiss County
Booneville, MS

Quitman County
Marks, MS

Rankin County
Brandon, MS

Scott County
Forest, MS

Simpson County
Mendenhall, MS

Stone County
Wiggins, MS

Sunflower County
Indianola, MS

Tate County
Senatobia, MS

Tishomingo County
Iuka, MS

Union County
New Albany, MS

Warren County
Vicksburg, MS

Washington County
Greenville, MS

Winston County
Louisville, MS

Yalobusha County
Water Valley, MS

Yazoo County
Yazoo City, MS