The Rev. Richard and Juanita Baker Neal recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple was married on Jan. 19, 1968, at the home of the Rev. T.J. Lynch in Claxton.
At the time, Lynch was the pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Ludowici.
About 50 family members and friends attended a reception to honor the Neals at the Long County Senior Citizens Center on Feb. 18. Among the guest were retired Brig. Gen. Marshall Kennemer, former Bloomingdale Mayor Billy Strozier, state Rep. Al Williams and Long County Commissioner David Richardson.
Neal is a retired Army master sergeant who also spent time working with the JROTC programs at Statesboro High School and the Academy of Richmond County. Mrs. Neal is a Ludowici native who graduated from Savannah State University and is a retired Georgia educator.
The Neals have two children, Reginald and Regina, and four grandchildren, Wesley, Chelsey, Alexandria and Richard.
When asked if he had any advice for young couples, Neal said, "always be kind and nice to each other. Don’t try to always be right every time. It’s a give and take."