Jan 20, 2009

Johnnie Moore Engaged

by article provided

It turns out that Johnnie Moore was not as single as everyone thought he was. The campus pastor and vice president of media relations asked his girlfriend, Liberty alumnus Andrea Marcilio, to be his wife on Dec. 27. Many Liberty students had no idea Moore had a girlfriend, much less that he was on a fast track towards marriage.

Moore spent a month and a half planning the proposal and sought advice from his family, friends and Marcilio’s family in Brazil. He even sent his sister on a mission to obtain from Marcilio the style of ring she dreamed of. After choosing the ring, Moore sent pictures of his selection to Marcilio’s parents, his parents, sister and Dr. and Mrs. Ron Godwin for approval.

“Any man who plans an engagement or selects a ring without the advice of at least five women is a fool,” Moore said.

The fateful day began with an early morning drive to the Keswick Estate in historic Charlottesville, Va. to finish the final preparations. He had reserved the whole restaurant for the occasion, and Moore wanted to ensure everything was in place. While at the hotel, he delivered fresh flowers, a note and picked out the perfect table. He then returned to Lynchburg to pick up Andrea for their lunch date.

“When we walked into the restaurant, the center table was set up for us with a vase of roses and a card for me,” Marcilio said. “That whole wall of the restaurant had floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking a golf course and a breathtaking view of the mountains.”

The couple sat down at the table and snacked on mini pastries and tea. After an hour, Moore allowed Marcilio to read the card he had written for her.

“The card said that I was the ‘one’ for him,” Marcilio said. “With tears in my eyes, I looked at him and he said how much he loved me, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

After accepting his proposal, Marcilio learned that this was actually the first of two surprises. Moore had secretly prepared a reception for the two of them at the Carter Glass Mansion on Liberty’s campus. The guest list included family and friends from South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Brazil.

The couple’s first encounter was in March 2007 at a dinner hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Godwin for the Brazilian students on campus. Moore was invited to host the dinner with the Godwins. Since Marcilio is Brazilian, she was there, but she was less than anxious to garner his attention.

“As all the Brazilian students sat around him in the living room teaching him all these Portuguese phrases and gestures, I decided that I just was not going to compete for his attention,” Marcilio said. “So I stayed outside on the balcony with a few other people enjoying a warm March evening.”

Despite the fact that Moore and Marcilio did not spend much time together that evening, she left a lasting impression.

“We only exchanged passing words that night, and I did not even know her name,” Moore said. “So I called her ‘the Brazilian’ until I was lucky enough to figure out who she was.”

The next time the couple met was during a luncheon late in the summer, which included Marcilio and her parents. Coincidently, Moore arrived late and ended up taking the final seat at the table, right next to the mysterious Brazilian. They talked the entire hour.

“It was a crowded table, but it felt like it was just the two of us,” Moore recalls.

Moore and Marcilio didn’t talk again for a month.

The couple’s first date wasn’t until Sept. 28, 2007. It was within the city limits of Lynchburg, which made for an interesting experience. A group of Liberty students decided to pull a prank and inaccurately inform the wait staff that it was Moore’s birthday. The entire Olive Garden staff came out singing with a cake in hand, and a Liberty student filmed the whole ordeal and uploaded the video to Facebook. A few days later, Thomas Road Baptist Church Pastor Jonathan Falwell announced on live television that Moore had gone out on a date.

“I thought she would be mortified after all of this, but she had so much grace,” Moore said. “We learned to go on dates outside of Lynchburg. We now know nearly every good restaurant in Charlottesville and Roanoke. We would drive an hour away to eat and spend time together so that we might get to know one another with a little more privacy than Lynchburg allowed.”

Moore says he wasn’t searching for a spouse, and neither was Marcilio. They were patiently living their lives when they stumbled upon each other. People have to learn love from the One who made it, and understand that finding a spouse isn’t something to be hurried. But it does require faith and courage, according to Moore.


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