Mr. and Mrs. Batiste
Lisha Davis Batiste proudly says, “I met him on Franklin Street in Gretna!” “Wrong.” says Vernon. She goes into a schoolgirl blush and covers her face as her husband details the correct story of how they first met.
Mr. Vernon Eugene Batiste, Sr. met his wife Lisha at a football game at West Jefferson High School stadium. “She told me she was from Chicago!” Mrs. Batiste laughs loudly while agreeing, “He had too much hair on his head. I wasn’t attracted to all of that hair. I didn’t want him to ask me for my phone number and try to track me down. I knew I had family in Chicago in case I would have to prove my story.” In fact, it would take three meetings before the two became a couple, thanks to her cousin. She was checking him out. Lisha chimes in, “He got a haircut and looked like Jermaine Jackson.” Lisha was 16 and Vernon was 19.
They were married on November 27, 1982. “That’s why I get gypped out of birthday presents because we got married on my birthday!” jokes Mr. Batiste. Lisha recalls her wedding day at his mother’s house, “It rained cats and dogs! “My wedding dress was a hot pink dress I borrowed and I wore a white lace covering on my head with long white lace gloves.” Their wedding song was “You and I” by Stevie Wonder. Mr. Batiste said he wore a burgundy suit. “That was a nice suit.” This couple is a living testimony as they prepare to celebrate 30 years of marriage. Vernon is my soul mate. YES we still hold hands; YES he still opens my car door. We are genuine. Vernon chimes in, “When the storm comes, don’t run away. That’s too easy. Stay there and deal with it to overcome.”
A major storm came for Mr. and Mrs. Batiste in 1993. A fire claimed their home, displacing them for a year and a half. “That fire took our marriage to another level. Our son was in the house alone when the fire started, but he made it out (safely).” That fire let me see what kind of man I married, says Lisha. Disgusted with the insurance company and crooked contractors, Vernon and his cousin rebuilt the house themselves. Vernon adds, “I worked 3 jobs to do it.” Mr. and Mrs. Batiste credit love, trust, and a dedicated walk with God for their strong marriage. In every relationship it’s a growing process. It goes back to the Bible. God doesn’t want us to separate. No matter what we do, He forgives us. God changes people!” says Vernon. Their advice to younger married couples, “Keep outsiders out of your business. Take care of your personal business in your own home. When you get married, you marry the person not their family. Deal with your problems alone. It will not be great all the time. Don’t let anger fester. Communication is key, and if you don’t have God and trust one another, you don’t have anything!” Mr. and Mrs. Batiste still enjoy an occasional date night and are dedicated to their service at Regular Baptist Church. Lisha is president of Missions and Outreach and Vernon is head deacon. They have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.