By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
TRENTON — Thanks to gifts through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions, Tennessee Baptists have given their first ultrasound machine to a crisis pregnancy center in the state.
“I am so proud of how a few years ago, Tennessee Baptists stood up for life against abortion, but being pro-life is a lot more than being anti-abortion,” observed Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
“We were able to supply our first ultrasound machine to Birth Choice in Trenton because Tennessee Baptists from all across the state gave so generously through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions.”
Davis said the TBMB’s goal is to “see an ultrasound machine placed in every crisis pregnancy center supported by local Baptist churches across our state.”
For Kelly Wall, director of the Gibson County office of Birth Choice, the gift was a welcomed addition to the center which provides free pregnancy tests, medical/pregnancy consultation, abortion education and other services to women in the area. Birth Choice also has an office in Jackson and a mobile unit that travels to other locations throughout West Tennessee.
Birth Choice received the new machine on April 15 and staff members immediately began training to get it into service as soon as possible. It replaced a machine the center had for about 11 years that was constantly needing service. In addition, the images were not always clear.
“Our staff is so excited to have the new machine,” she said.
“The images are clearer and the machine is more updated so they can get measurements of the baby and a more accurate heartbeat,” she added.
The ability to provide ultrasounds is important to the ministry of a crisis pregnancy center,” she noted. “About 75 percent of the time, a woman will choose life if she has had an ultrasound because she has heard the heartbeat and she has seen the baby.”
During the first week that Birth Choice had the new machine, Wall noted that a client was able to point our her baby’s brain.
“They can see the humanness of what is growing inside them,” she said.
Shelby is a former client who knows the value of an ultrasound. “It helped me to realize there was a living human and really solidified to me that I was carrying life.”
Wall is grateful to Tennessee Baptists for the gift. “By providing this resource they have become a part of the ministry we do here at Birth Choice,” she said.
Wall noted that the center does much more than pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. The center also provides the Esther program to help the mothers learn how to parent. They take classes, watch video and even do homework. In doing so, they earn “Mommy Money” to purchase items for their babies in the center’s resource room.
“Some women just need some extra help,” Wall observed. “A lot of times a woman will not want to keep their baby because she does not have the resources to take care of it.”
Roger Stacy, director of missions for Gibson Baptist Association, where the center is located, noted the churches in the county are very supportive of the ministry.
“Our churches believe strongly in being a part of the ministry by volunteering, providing resources and prayer” he said. B&R