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Hillsborough judge gave up gavel, found love

Monica_sierra Remember when Monica Sierra resigned her Hillsborough circuit court judgeship and moved to the Middle East to help Palestinian refugees? Sierra left after Christmas 2007, shocking colleagues, voters and family who had raised $100,000 for her campaign.

"It was a tremendous sacrifice … my future as a judge. My parents were so hurt they didn't speak to me,'' Sierra said.

Now, St. Petersburg Times writer Amy Scherzer updates us on Sierra's recent marriage to a Connecticut banker she met in Jerusalem.

Doug Schaefer had been sent to Israel by his church to check out Sierra's organization, Living Bread International Church. On a walk with Sierra, Schaefer told her: “The Lord sent me to be your husband.”

Read more about their courtship and wedding at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg, and share your comments.


We'd like to know about your courtship stories and see your photos: Share your tales with Scherzer. E-mail your pictures to with your name and photo details in the body of the message, then view your photos in's Wedding Photos gallery.

You also can place your wedding or engagement announcement in's Bliss section for free.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:54pm]


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