Have you ever felt you were the only one facing a crisis alone? Pregnant and nowhere to turn and no one to help you? Choices become narrow and options seem few? A group of caring individuals in Logan County understand the need for women to have a place to go where judgment will not greet them, but instead compassion and faith to help them and their baby.
Pastor Barry Raley of New Friendship Baptist Church in Auburn is a retired police officer. He was called to serve the Lord at the pulpit well into his law enforcement career. It was one day at a meeting of ministers recently where he became embarrassed when a speaker wondered why Logan County didn’t have a pregnancy care center.
“You know I have spoken about abortion many times to my congregation. But I am embarrassed to say I never really put my words to action, and that was something I felt needed to be fulfilled after praying about it,” said Raley.
The retired policeman brought the idea to his congregation at New Friendship and asked them what they thought about creating a place for pregnant women who felt they had no where to turn. A non-denominational faith based place where they could go to receive help through counseling, pregnancy testing, ministry and adoption referral. A place where they would feel supported, not judged. A place where they could receive assistance before and after having their babies.
“After asking the congregation” said Raley, “people were coming up to me saying ‘how can we help?.’”
The initiative became clear and before long many other churches began climbing aboard to help out. Before long God brought a building about through an anonymous donor, located on Third Street in Russellville and thus Life Choice Pregnancy Center was born.
A steering committee was quickly put together with caring individuals whose goal is to help that mother and her family, to give her options instead of abortion.
“This goal is going to take many community partners,” said Raley. “We are going to be relying on many individuals, churches, non-profits, businesses and industry to make this work. But it is something that will benefit all of us.”
Life Choice Pregnancy Center will be based in Logan County, but it will reach out to Simpson and Todd County as well, who also do not have pregnancy centers.
Raley said one of the first fundraising opportunities for the center will be the Baby Bottle Campaign. This campaign will allow churches to purchase baby bottle banks to hand out to their congregation who will then go home and collect change to be turned back in. The campaign will begin on Mother’s Day. So if you are a church who would like to participate or a youth group, you can contact Raley at 270-799-6800 or New Friendship Church at 270-542-6244.
The center is expected to be opening later this year. Right now the committee is putting together long range plans, obtaining the necessary equipment, starting fundraising projects and contacting community partners.
“We not only want to help mothers for the moment, but help them for the long haul. We want to show them they can have their babies and be given the tools they need to take care of them,” said Raley.
For more information about Life Choice Pregnancy Center or if you would like to help, please call Raley at 270-799-6800 or New Friendship Church at 270-542-6244.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.