The Supreme Court of the United States overturned the long-term precedent set by the decision in Roe v. Wade to legalize abortion last Friday, June 24, 2022.
“After 50 years of struggle, we are rejoicing that the Supreme Court agreed that abortion is not a constitutional right. We have prayed for decades for this day. We have marched, contributed, lobbied and debated. Now, we can celebrate this victory for life,” said Larry D. White, who serves as the current president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).
“This is a defining moment in history. The way the church responds will not be easily forgotten,” said Derek Brown, PhD, LPC, the executive director of Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries.
While the Supreme Court’s decision supports Christian efforts to defend each and every God-created life, there is still work to be done. Much of this work is executed through the Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries (ABCFM) arm of the ABSC.
“More than ever before, we must be the hands and feet of Christ. Our ministries are available to help your church with practical ways to care for vulnerable children and women with unexpected pregnancies,” Brown said.
Their work also includes ministering to mothers through counseling, including helping those who are experiencing anguish after previously choosing abortion.
Thanks to the existing Gospel-centered missional impact of Arkansas Baptists around the state, ministry to women and children from a variety of backgrounds and experiencing an array of unique circumstances will remain a top priority for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
“Church-based foster care, adoption, advocacy and counseling ministries are already strategically located around the state. If your church is not directly involved with Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries, I encourage you to get connected with us and discover practical ways we can help you offer real solutions for your community,” Brown said.
There are two upcoming training events that will show churches practical ways to get involved. On Tuesday, July 26 at 1:30 p.m., ABCFM is hosting a virtual information meeting for pastors and church leaders about church-driven foster care and adoption ministry. For more information about this meeting, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to register. Desired Haven Community Advocate Coordinator Training will be held on August 11 in Little Rock at the new ABCFM headquarters on Markham Street. Church representatives are invited to lunch to learn more about becoming a Desired Haven Community. Click here to register for this meeting.
Arkansas Baptists also provide funds to pregnancy care resource centers that offer resources for expectant mothers when they give to the annual Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering.
“The directors, staff and volunteers of the pregnancy care centers have become ‘heroes of the faith’ to me. While they have faithfully prayed for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, they also have championed life by ministering to…women in crisis, who felt they had no other option but abortion. Through this ministry, women and men have been taught the value of life and the skills needed for parenting, and they have been pointed to the One who loves them unconditionally. I am constantly amazed at the life change that occurs through this ministry,” said Clint Ritchie, who serves as the assistant team leader for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s Missions Team.
Arkansas Baptists are ready to continue in their efforts to “speak up for those who have no voice,” as commanded in Proverbs 31:8, and carry out the work that needs to be done to help every family.
“We know as believers, that all human life is sacred. We cannot change the past carnage of millions. We grieve for those who lost their lives and for those who now regret having been part of that process,” White said. “But the Church moves forward with prayer and proactive work with pregnancy support and foster care. I am grateful we have Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries to help us.”