One Black couple recently celebrated over eight decades of marriage!

In late September, Cleovis and Arwilda White’s 84-year-long marriage was honored in a ceremony hosted by the Arkansas Family Council. Its “mission is to promote, protect, and strengthen traditional family values found and reflected in the Bible by impacting public opinion and public policy,” according to its site. Turns out, their marriage is the longest-known union in the state’s history, reported USA Today.

When asked about the keys to sustaining such a long partnership, Arwilda, who is 98 years old, said she always liked to “pray” and advised others to do the same in their relationships.

“Know how to get on your knees, and get you a bible because that bible is going to have to take you through all kinds of storms,” she said in an interview with USA Today.

According to the couple’s daughter, when Arwilda was 9 years old and Cleovis was 13, they first crossed paths due to Cleovis’ brother who, due to a disability, would often go up to random girls they ran into and grab their hands. Despite Cleovis being younger, he was taller and used it to his advantage to step in between and grab his brother’s hand back. On one particular day, though, his brother attempted to grab Arwilda’s hand, but her friend spotted Cleovis and told her to run in his direction instead. From the moment he saw her run his way, he knew they’d be married someday.

Living in the same area, they saw each other at a church event where boxed suppers made by the women and girls, including Arwilda, of the church were being sold for 40 cents.

Then, eight years later, when Arwilda was 13 and Cleovis was 17, the couple wed on July 24, 1939. Soon after, they were separated due to Cleovis serving in World War II. After he returned to the U.S. in 1945, he attended Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College, 60 miles away in Pine Bluff, where he studied auto mechanics.

“He wasn’t able to go back home to Clarendon,” their daughter Kathy Whiteside-Sims said. “It was a process of calling somebody to call somebody to go and tell somebody ‘I’m not coming home. I’m in school.'”

Following graduation, Cleovis worked at Pine Bluff Arsenal while Arwilda raised their 12 children as a stay-at-home mother.

“Sometimes they had children that lived with them,” Charisse Dean, from the Family Council, added. “They were just pillars in the community.”

One of the things Arwilda loves most about Cleovis is how he is “always trying to help people.”

Cleovis, however, had a hard time giving just one attribute when asked about his wife’s best quality.

“I love 99% of her,” he said.