By Brian Blackwell, Baptist message editor-in-chief
ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (LBM) – Pro-life supporters have the chance to be a part of the modern-day miracles taking place at the CENLA Pregnancy Center, former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Abby Johnson said at the the centre’s annual gift of life banquet, September 7. 14.
“Daily miracles take place at the CENLA Pregnancy Center,” Johnson told a crowd of nearly 900 gathered inside the Randolph Riverfront Center. “Every time a woman comes in and hears about the Lord, it’s a miracle. Every time a mom comes along and learns how to be a better mom, what to expect when she’s pregnant, when she has a baby, it’s a miracle. There are miracles happening every day here in your community. And what an incredible opportunity it is that you can be a part of these miracles, that you can invest in the miracles that God is doing right here in your community.
Johnson was the keynote speaker for the fundraiser, which brought in $ 363,713.77 at the CENLA Pregnancy Center. The event also featured remarks from other life advocates, musical entertainment by a Louisiana College graduate who is now a Southern Gospel recording artist in Nashville, Tenn., And an announcement that the center will be opening its third location in Vidalia next year. The CENLA Pregnancy Center currently has locations in Alexandria and Marksville.
Located on the Louisiana Baptist Building campus at 1254 MacArthur Drive in Alexandria since December 2017, the CENLA Pregnancy Center has served 964 women through pregnancy decision coaching (by qualified lawyers), free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds , information on pregnancy options, referrals for mental health counselor and obstetrician-gynecologists, recommendations for shelters and affordable housing, adoption support (referrals to help pregnant women with an adoption plan and assistance limited financial) and post-decision support that includes parenting education as well as recovery groups for those who regret having an abortion. In addition, the center meets the basic needs of mothers and babies by distributing diapers, food, cots, hygiene products, car seats, clothing as well as limited allowances to help children. women to pay their rent or other needs. A total of 155 babies were rescued (out of 171 unborn children of mothers who considered abortion) in the few years that the ministry was fully operational (services were at times limited by state restrictions in 2020).
Over 200 churches from multiple Christian denominations have worked together to establish the Pregnancy Resource Center, a nonprofit pro-life organization to provide compassionate support to women and men facing difficult pregnancy decisions. First Baptist Pollock was instrumental early in the process, when they began praying in January 2014 for the establishment of a pregnancy care center in central Louisiana. Originally, they planned to create a center at the rear of their church property. But hundreds of churches, business leaders and other life advocates in central Louisiana have heard of the idea and have started donating money and other support. In December 2016, a nine-person board of directors had been formed, with members of the Baptist associations of Big Creek, Central Louisiana and North Rapides. Then, an annual lease of $ 1 was signed in 2017 for the use of the 5,660 square foot land. facility, an annual benefit of $ 72,000 provided by the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Johnson left Planned Parenthood after attending an ultrasound-guided abortion on September 26, 2009 and watching a 13-week-old baby die fighting for her life. She quickly left the nation’s largest abortion provider, promising to become an advocate for life inside the womb and exposing the lies of the abortion industry. Johnson now travels around the world to share his story and has helped over 430 former abortion clinic workers leave the industry through his ministry, And Then There Were None.
“People assume watching this baby on the ultrasound screen have an abortion was the worst,” Johnson said. “It was a terrible loss, but it wasn’t the worst. The worst came later. The worst was actually knowing when I could have done something to intervene, I just stood there and did nothing. I just watched. I remember wanting to go out and say stop, but I didn’t. I just stayed there.
Johnson encouraged attendees to join her in the fight to save the lives of unborn children by donating to pro-life causes, preaching messages from the pulpit and showing up to serve women who are about to enter a family planning clinic.
“I cannot end abortion on my own,” she said. “I can’t end it on my own. The CENLA Pregnancy Center cannot terminate abortion on its own. It’s going to take us all. It’ll take the whole body of Christ to put an end to it.
David Brooks, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, in his opening banquet prayer, asked God to grant wisdom to the staff of the CENLA Pregnancy Center and others who stand up for life.
“Dear Jesus, we come to you to pray for the most innocent and helpless among us, for those who have not yet been born,” Brooks prayed. “We know nobody really wants to have an abortion, they just feel like they have no other choice. But they have a choice. They can choose life. Lord, we pray that you touch each of their hearts so that they choose life.
“God has transformed so many lives through this ministry,” said CENLA Pregnancy Center and Pollock First Baptist Church Board Chair Pastor Brian Gunter. “And I’m so thankful for what the Lord has done. There is not really one person who can take credit for it because it is ultimately the ministry of God. It’s something he does. Who knows what the Lord has for Cenla Pregnancy Center and all the other centers we hope to see in the future.
CENLA Pregnancy Center Executive Director Claire Lemoine said she was remembered through the banquet of God’s faithfulness as they care for women and do their part to help save the children at to be born.
“A team of dedicated and passionate people went through difficult times to orchestrate an evening that allowed nearly 900 people to hear a message of the utmost importance,” Lemoine told the Baptist message. “Everyone gathered at the Riverfront Center heard the powerful message of God’s mercy and the truth, lies and evil of the abortion industry. We pray that people will take this message home and allow it to enter their hearts. When hearts are transformed and convinced by the truth, people take action. People want to make a change and want to be part of building the kingdom of God. This night gave them that opportunity.
For more information on the CENLA Pregnancy Center, visit cenlapc.com.