Jessie & Jordan Batson

By Kevin Tankersley


VENUE: Pape House Event Center
TIME OF DAY: 5 p.m.
COLORS: Blush pink, whites, postman blue for groom and groomsman
GOWN: Monique Lhuillier
PHOTOGRAPHER: Rachel Whyte Photography
HAIRSTYLIST: Katie Crumley
MAKEUP: Leah Morales
OFFICIANT: Ross Strader
COORDINATOR: Allison McBrayer
CATERER: Vickie Parker at Waco’s Bestyett Catering
CAKE: Kim Cutler at Baked Bliss
DECOR: Kathy Riggs at Pape House
FLORIST: Kristin Rucker at K Flowers
MUSICIANS: Kerry Balltzglier and band
FIRST SONG: “When You Love Someone” by Jason Mraz
REHEARSAL DINNER: Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant
HOTEL: Hotel Indigo
HONEYMOON: Placencia, Belize
BUDGET: $$$ (KEY: $ = 15,000 or less | $$ = 15,001-30,000 | $$$ = 30,001-50,000 | $$$$= 50,001-75,000)

By the time Jessie and Jordan Batson had known each other a year, they had already been married for a month. They met at his mom’s house. When Jessie first saw Jordan, he was washing dishes. They went out the next night.

Their first date consisted of dinner, dessert and conversation at Lake Waco, a long evening that “wasn’t awkward,” Jessie said.
That was in May 2014. They got engaged five months later and were married on March 28 of this year.

“Sometimes you just know, and we knew,” Jessie said. The wedding and reception were at the Pape House, adjacent to the Earle-Harrison House on North Fifth Street.

Jessie and Jordan now live in Tyler. He graduated from Dallas Baptist University and moved to Tyler to work at Pine Cove camps. He is now a landman in the oil and gas industry, where he’s worked for a couple of years. Jessie works as the executive assistant to the senior pastor and executive pastor at their church, Bethel Bible Church.

WACOAN: How did you and Jordan meet?

Jessie: Jordan is from Waco. I moved to Waco in the fall of 2011 to be part of Antioch Community Church’s discipleship school. I’m from Scottsdale, Arizona, and went to Arizona State University. I lived in Phoenix after I graduated, and I was a teacher.

WACOAN: What did you teach?

Jessie: I worked at a small private school, Rancho Solano [Preparatory School], and I was the art teacher. I also taught fifth grade humanities and Spanish 4.

WACOAN: How did you end up at Antioch from Arizona?

Jessie: I became a believer post-college, and I was teaching at the same time that was all happening. I really just felt like God had a transition for me. I was thinking about getting my master’s in teaching. Then I found out about the discipleship school in Waco. I had also thought about going to San Diego — there’s an Antioch there. But I went the complete opposite direction and went to Waco. I heard about it, applied and got in, all in a month, and it was past the [application] deadline. It was very much a God thing.

I knew about five people in Waco. My best friend had gone to Baylor [University], and her parents were really good friends with a couple from Antioch. I graduated from discipleship school in May 2012 and worked for Oak Mortgage Group in Waco until early 2013, and then I was offered a job at Antioch. I was the first through third grade children’s pastor and also worked in the communications department. I did that until I got married.

WACOAN: So how does Jordan come into the picture?

Jessie: I met Jordan in May of 2014. I had known his brother the whole time I had been in Waco, and I had been to his mom’s house. I went to hang out with a friend who was living with his mom. She lets people who are working in the ministry live with her. Jordan was in town for the weekend. He was living in Tyler and working in Fort Worth for six weeks on a project, so he was in Waco a lot.

I walked in the house, and he was doing the dishes. We sassed each other a little bit and then went on a date the next night. We just had coffee. He was back in town the next weekend, and we had our first real date. We picked up Torchy’s [Tacos] and took it to Baylor and sat outside and ate. Then we went and got frozen yogurt and went out to Lake Waco and hung out. It was great.

WACOAN: When did you first know that y’all were going to get married?

Jessie: I would say maybe a month before we got engaged, we had the ‘we want to get married’ conversation, in a fun way. So about three months into dating, his dad always said to him, ‘Marry your best friend.’ So Jordan said, ‘Let’s try to be best friends and go from there.’ We became best friends.

We got engaged after five months and married five-and-a-half months after that. I was 28 at that point, and Jordan is two years younger than me. If we had been 21, it would have looked a little different.

WACOAN: Who proposed to whom?

Jessie: Jordan proposed to me.

WACOAN: How did he propose?

Jessie: When we were dating, Corsicana was a halfway point between Waco and Tyler. We would see each other every weekend, but if we wanted to have a date during the week, we would meet in Corsicana. We called them our halfway dates.

On maybe our first halfway date, we had dinner and were walking around downtown and found this old building, and there was a guy working inside. He had bought the building and was turning it into an art studio, gallery and workspace. He took us to the roof, and it was a gorgeous night. You could see all of Corsicana.

When we got engaged, Jordan had planned this whole day for me. He had friends meet me for lunch. He had gotten me a dress. His mom drove me to Corsicana and dropped me off at that building. He was waiting for me on the roof. It was amazing.

WACOAN: Why did you choose the Pape House as your venue?

Jessie: It really came down to calling venues and seeing what was available. I called the Earle-Harrison House, and it was booked. They were redoing the Pape House. Kathy Riggs [the property manager for Earle-Harrison and Pape] said, ‘Have some vision and trust me.’ I majored in art. I can do vision. The place was gutted. She walked me through it and told me what it was going to look like. I said, ‘Let’s do it.’

We had almost 300 people at our wedding, but it didn’t feel crowded. It still felt very intimate and peaceful. It didn’t feel crowded and chaotic.

WACOAN: And who officiated your wedding?

Jessie: Ross Strader. He’s our pastor here in Tyler. We did premarital counseling with him.

WACOAN: What else do I need to know?

Jessie: Waco was great. My family came from Arizona and loved it. I was worried, thinking that with a smaller town, it would be hard to host everyone. But we just had everything we needed for a perfect wedding weekend.