"Bachelorette" Finalist Talks Faith To Teens - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/12/04-Tyler

"Bachelorette" Finalist Talks Faith To Teens

Exactly one year ago, Lanny Lawrence, a horse breeder from Mt. Vernon, flew out to California to try his hand at reality show dating.

This week, he provided a "reality check" to about 50 teenagers at Sylvania Baptist Church in Tyler during their weekly ministry series, The Oasis.

"Relationships are a compromise, but you do not compromise when it comes to your beliefs in Jesus Christ," Lawrence said.

On The Bachelorette, Lawrence was one of four guys who got to bring the girl, Meredith, home to meet his family.

"I grew up in a strong Southern Baptist home," he said. "And my mom is a strong Southern Baptist woman. So she had some questions. And you know, we only have a short time to talk to Meredith to see what I'm getting myself into, you know."

Religion was discussed at length, with Lawrence's mother asking Meredith a series of questions about her spiritual background.

"Meredith wasn't brought up in the same kind of background that we were," he said. "And it kind of made it a little uncomfortable, I think, and I think ultimately sent me home."

Lawrence says he got a lot of letters and phone calls -- some criticizing his mother, but even more praising his family's strong stance.

"People calling and saying, thank you for standing up and not jeopardizing any of your principles and morals," he said.

An encouraging message for Christian teens.

"Some people take it the wrong way, and it's like wow, Christians, they're kind of scary," Amber Tutt, 16, said. "And then some people will understand how hard it is to take a stand, so they really appreciate it when it does happen."

Lawrence told the teens reality show dating is far from real. And since he prefers dating in the real world, the 27-year-old has found himself a girlfriend. So ladies, the cowboy's off the market.

Since the show ended, Lawrence has bought a home in Whitehouse, where he now lives. He still has horses, but has also gotten a job in pharmaceutical sales in Tyler.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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