Nicki Minaj wanted a familiar face to help her tie the knot ... so she brought in her pastor from the other side of the U.S. of A. to officiate the ceremony.
Sources close to Nicki tell TMZ ... the singer flew out her pastor, Lydia Woodson-Sloley, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles for her nuptials with Kenneth Petty.
We're told Nicki and Pastor Lydia -- who fancies herself as a poet, author, Christian life coach and music producer -- go way back, so Nicki just had to have her as the wedding minister.
Lydia founded "Life in Its Poetic Form Christian Ministries" way back in 2000, and Nicki's a huge supporter of her work -- even thanking her in front of millions of people at the 2015 VMAs after accepting the award for best hip-hop video.
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Nicki and Pastor Lydia also joined forces in 2017 to rebuild a village in India, making sure people there gained access to clean water.
We broke the story ... Nicki and Kenneth got hitched Monday in L.A. in a low-key ceremony, rushing to the altar because their marriage license was set to expire at month's end.