City employee becomes ordained


When 59-year-old Floyd Amburgey started working at Seymour City Hall, he thought he wouldn’t last three weeks.

“Not that I didn’t like it there, but I just didn’t think they’d keep me,” Amburgey said. “Now, it has been 25 years this past January, and I’m still here.”

Other than work, Amburgey is confined to his home due to his physical disability, as he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy before he was 2 years old. He has never had the use of his legs and depends on a motorized wheelchair to get around at home and at work.

Amburgey said he has had some health issues over the past couple of years and recently learned it is due to complications caused by his cerebral palsy. He doesn’t know what the future holds, but he is going to face it with positivity.

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As far as his job goes, he originally worked directly with Mayor John Burkhart for four hours every Tuesday. Then a high school student who was studying government starting coming to the office.

“She was an intern, and there wasn’t enough room in those two rooms for all of us,” Amburgey said. “So the mayor transferred me to parks and rec, and I’ve been here ever since.”

His official title is clerk/secretarial aid, but he said he’s really a glorified gopher. He also is a notary public and recently added one more title to his name. Amburgey is now ordained and a licensed marriage officiant.

“Around mid-January, the mayor asked me to become ordained to help him marry people, and I thought about it for a day and then told him I would try it,” Amburgey said. “I’ve seen a lot of people be married by other people.”

Before he became ordained, there were only two other people who could perform marriages at city hall: Mayor Matt Nicholson and former Clerk-Treasurer Fred Lewis.

“They needed a third person for a backup, so the mayor asked me to be that backup,” Amburgey said. “There’s a small conference room in the building where the marriage ceremonies take place, and so far, I’ve performed one wedding, and it went well.”

Nicholson said when he took office, to his knowledge, he was the only current city official conducting marriages.

“So what we were running into was the first week, we had one ceremony, the second week, we had two more,” Nicholson said. “It seems like every week, we get a few.”

Nicholson said people from other counties were coming over, and his first three wedding ceremonies were from three different counties, so they were talking in the office one day trying to figure out what they could do.

“My administrative assistant, Gloria (Cullison), suggested Floyd,” Nicholson said. “I said I could get him ordained, and then after sleeping on it a day or so, we came back and decided that was a good option.”

Nicholson said when Lewis was the clerk-treasurer, he became ordained before he left so he could still perform the ceremonies. He is pushing 2,000 wedding ceremonies now, and he’s a handy backup, but at the same time, he’s not in the building anymore.

“So now, we have somebody here when I can’t do it, and realistically since that moment, I think Floyd has done the only marriage we’ve had since,” Nicholson said. “I was out, Fred was out, so Floyd did the next wedding and got the first one under his belt.”

Nicholson said Lewis came back in to perform a wedding recently and brought his Spanish copy because he had it in both English and Spanish. City hall now has a copy to be read in both languages for whenever needed.

“To get ordained, you go online and fill out a form, and then I contacted the clerk in Brownstown to confirm that it was legal, and she said yes,” Nicholson said. “I came back one day with my laptop and went through it with Floyd and got him ordained.”

A couple of days later, Amburgey received his certification in the mail from the Universal Life Church and was ready to start performing marriages. He said they were prepared to be busy on Valentine’s Day and was pretty surprised when no one came in to get married that day.

“Floyd is also a notary, and it’s got to be notarized after the service, so after looking into it, Floyd can also notarize it once it’s done, so that’s the thing and it’s kind of cool,” Nicholson said.

Amburgey likes Looney Tunes memorabilia and is a movie buff. He has lived in Seymour for 27 years and said it feels like home.

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According to and, marriages in Indiana may be performed by a member of the clergy (including a minister, priest, bishop, rabbi and imam), a judge, a magistrate, a mayor, a clerk of the circuit court or a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town.

Information on becoming ordained is available online at


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