We all enjoy hearing a good love story. We love hearing about couples who find one another when they’re young and continue to love each other faithfully for years and years. It has been an honor to watch this love story unfold before my own eyes.
Sawyer and Cara Strickland have spent a majority of their lives in Paulding County. They both attended North Paulding High School, where they met freshman year. They were in a school club together and played on the basketball teams. When Sawyer asked Cara to Homecoming junior year, their story began.
These high school sweethearts went on to do long distance for two years while Sawyer was studying locally at Georgia Highlands and Cara moved to Lynchburg, Virginia to study at Liberty University. After Sawyer finished at Georgia Highlands, he closed the gap and moved to study at Liberty as well. The next two years were full of basketball rec leagues, hikes, campus tours and innumerable laughs.
In December of 2020, Sawyer and Cara were with family in Blue Ridge when Sawyer got down on one knee to pop the question! After five years together, the obvious answer was YES!
In May of 2021, Cara and Sawyer both graduated from Liberty University. Sawyer graduated with a Bachelor’s in Youth Ministry and Cara received her Bachelor’s in Strategic Communications with a minor in Graphic Design.
Sawyer and Cara returned home on August 7th to tie the knot in front of all of their family and friends. When asked what their favorite moment was from the wedding, Sawyer without a doubt said it was seeing Cara walk down the aisle. Cara, while having so many moments to choose from, chose their last dance. All of their guests had exited for their sparkler send off, and Sawyer and Cara got to dance, just the two of them, to Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.
After a few months of living as a married couple in Memphis, Tennessee and working for Bellevue Baptist Church, Cara was offered a position with a nonprofit called WinShape Teams as a Digital Marketing Coordinator. This allowed the Stricklands to move back to Georgia! Sawyer transitioned into a Student Ministry Intern position at West Ridge Church, their home church in Paulding. Sawyer and Cara serve in Middle School there and also lead a young marrieds small group. They both have a passion for ministry and absolutely love the roles the Lord has placed them in!
Paulding is special to the Stricklands for so many reasons! It is where they met, where both of their families live and it’s where their church is. They both enjoy being outdoors, whether that be hiking, playing basketball and pickleball, or playing with their pup, Phyllis, aka Philly.
Philly is their sweet, vocal 1.5-year-old lab. She is absolutely wild and keeps the Stricklands on their toes most days. She is both a cuddle bug and a quick little athlete – she can catch frisbees in the air easily. Air Bud ain’t got nothin’ on her!
After six beautiful months of being married, the couple loves getting to just do life together with their best friend. They get to follow after Jesus alongside one another and the best part – they never have to say goodbye. The Stricklands will get to celebrate their 7th Valentine’s Day together with flowers, candy, and exchanging handwritten letters. Cheers to the Strickland’s first Valentine’s Day as a married couple!