A Gilmer nonprofit that has been providing women and men with help with unintended pregnancies since January 2017 will celebrate its growth on Friday with a grand reopening.
The Open Door Pregnancy Center event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a ribbon cutting, a barbecue lunch, the unveiling of a new logo and the grand opening of a building in its facilities at 1561 US 271 to Gilmer.
âI am proud that the ministry has grown steadily every year,â said Director Teresa Owen. âWe have seen parents start to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. These choices mean that lives are changed.
The center is a faith-based organization that provides “a safe and caring place to get help with an unplanned pregnancy by providing physical, emotional and spiritual support,” according to its Facebook page. It offers services such as pregnancy tests, limited OB ultrasound, voucher program, pregnancy counseling and postabortion recovery in the Gilmer area.
By the end of 2019, the organization had served a total of 238 clients, performed 93 ultrasounds and made a total of 526 visits, according to information provided by the center.
Initially, the center was a branch of The Work, a faith-based community development organization.
âIn September 2019, we took possession of the entire building, doing renovations and restructuring the use of the building,â said Owen, while speaking about the long-term security of the center. âAs a ministry that’s three or four years old, we’re looking to see what we can do to build a lasting ministry. As an organization, if the pregnancy center has its secure location, it is a form of long-term security. We want the building to be an asset, not a liability.
The center, which is funded by individuals, churches, grants and usually two annual fundraisers, plans to pay off its mortgage by renting office space in its building – three of the four available spaces are currently occupied – and renting out the center. event and conference room.
Since opening, the center has expanded its Earn While You Learn program, an educational program for parents. It includes parenting classes, prenatal classes, Bible studies and life coaching. The program includes online classes, as well as classes on child welfare parents and a Bible study on recovery after abortion.
âFor every hour they spend here, or online with us taking educational classes, they earn ten vouchers that can be spent in the baby store,â Owen said.
The baby store has evolved from a closet of essentials needed to raise a baby to an entire room of items like clothes and diapers.
On Friday, the building, currently named The Center, will be renamed Roy M. Brown Life Center in memory of Brown, a prominent member of the Gilmer community who died in August 2019.
Brown believed in the program and supported it financially, emotionally and spiritually, Owen said.
For more information on the Open Door Pregnancy Center, visit opendoorpregnancycenter.com or call (903) 797-0774.