by Lisa Tome
Andrew McGuigan spent much of last week teaching Vacation Bible School students about facing their fears and trusting God.
On Friday night, McGuigan, 22, of Port Deposit, practiced what he preached when he proposed to his girlfriend in front of a crowd of nearly 250 people at First Baptist Church of Perryville.
She said yes.
"It was really cute. I loved it," said McGuigan's new fiancee, Rachel Graves, 21, of Conowingo.
The couple, both 2009 graduates of Perryville High School, have been dating for nearly five years.
Both volunteer at the annual VBS. McGuigan, who helped kick off the nightly festivities by performing in a skit, decided to incorporate his proposal into Bible school.
His fellow skit actors, Justin Thompson, Lauren Jones, Jason Sweitzer, and Andrew's sister, Danielle, were in the on the proposal plan as was Nancy Mason, who scripted the mini-play.
The couple met at a wedding in 2008 and started dating a short time later.
Initially, Andrew planned to propose in July but moved his plan forward in an effort to do it during VBS. He got permission from Graves' parents before popping the question.
"I want to catch her off guard," he said, three days before proposing. "I'm kind of nervous. I'm excited. I've had to rationalize things. I'm ready to do it. This is a leap of faith."
"She is fun-loving. She's one of the nicest people I've ever met. She's good with kids and easy to talk to. I just love her," he said.
McGuigan is the son of Dan and Angie McGuigan. Graves in the daughter of Bill and Janet Graves. McGuigan said he hopes for a one to two year engagement before they tie the knot.