Pastor Johnny Hunt and wife Janet share their secrets to a long- - CBS46 News

Pastor Johnny Hunt and wife Janet share their secrets to a long-lasting love

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When you spend time with Pastor Johnny Hunt and his wife Janet - who've been happily married for most of their lives - you notice the little things that make their relationship work.

The way they talk about how they first met in their hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.

“He would walk home from work by my house so I would see this pattern every day,” said Janet Hunt.

The way they tease each other.

“I like to kid. I like to tell people the reason Adam never divorced Eve there wasn't anybody else,” Johnny Hunt.

Hunt has been pastor at Woodstock First Baptist church for 31 years with Janet at his side the whole way.

They’ve been married 47 years and accomplished a feat many long to reach – to grow gracefully old together.

“So we're in great years of enjoying each other, enjoying our children but the bottom line is we literally are best friends,” Johnny Hunt said.

But you don't get through 47 years without having some ups and downs and some struggles.

“I think the main thing is it’s endurance. It's perseverance that we can get through this. And we're better together,” Johnny Hunt said.

There were naysayers.

Janet said he a bit wild and reckless compared to her reserved, innocent behavior.

“But somehow this mean boy really got my attention.,” she said.

“She liked mean men. But I was managing the pool hall shortly after that. And then a real abuser of alcohol so really her dad would not want her to meet someone like me,” he said. 

At 18, he was a high school dropout and Janet was just 17 when they tied the knot.

She had doubts – just two years into their marriage.

“I hung in there and then started thinking, what could make our marriage better? And then my roots started coming back, how my grandmother would always take me to church and I knew that church life was a better life,” Janet Hunt said.

Today their ministry reaches 17,000 members.

Pastor Hunt says ministry is demanding, but he’s learned to juggle his schedule while prioritizing his family.

The couple has two daughters and four grandchildren.

“We still date every week. So we have a date night. And I know she likes movies and I know she likes Nascar,” he said. 

The couple has advice for those getting ready to tie the knot.

“Go into it thinking as if there were no other option. Go into thinking you are going to spend the rest of your life with this person and when things get rough, we're going to work it out,” she said. 

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