CFI certified Secular Celebrants are legal to solemnize marriages in Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, and District of Columbia. We are taking action to become legal to solemnize marriages in other states.
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Galen Broaddus is a lifelong resident of Illinois. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Millikin University in 2009 and thereafter taught English for five years in a rural Illinois high school.
Galen’s work as a secular celebrant comes from his background in public speaking and poetry as an English teacher, his prior experience in (largely unofficial) ministerial roles, and his desire to help secular individuals fill a void in commemorating significant life events. He seeks to provide an offering to the central Illinois area that has not previously been available for both secular and religious individuals who may prefer a religiously neutral ceremony.
Galen also offers his experience as a writer and writing instructor to help individuals and couples customize ceremonies to match their unique interests, needs, and backgrounds.
He is currently in an interfaith (religious/secular) marriage with his wife, with whom he has two sons. They reside in the Decatur, IL area.
Jim Underdown is the Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry West and a certified secular celebrant. He has also taught Secular Celebrations Workshops at CFI in Los Angeles. He written for Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer magazines and been a spokesperson for both Secular Humanism and Scientific Skepticism since 1999.
In the past 20 years, Jim has performed approximately 40 non-religious wedding ceremonies, both in and outside California. He has also officiated at several memorials and a few baby-namings.
Jim believes ritual has value because certain life events are important and deserve special attention – even for those who do not practice any particular religion. Secular celebrants are appropriate for people who prefer that religion not be mixed in with their momentous events.
Each ceremony he conducts is unique and written for that specific couple with the couple’s involvement. Jim encourages his clients to be creative and to tailor their wedding to fit their personalities and desires. Just because it’s an important occasion doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!