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Church helps crisis pregnancy center by filling dressers with baby items

BLANCHARD, La. (BP)–A half-filled dresser stands in the church’s back foyer into which members have placed baby diapers, bottles, clothes and countless other items appropriate for the arrival of a newborn.
The supplies are for an expected newborn, but members of First Baptist Church, Blanchard, La., have no idea who that baby and its mother are — and never will. When the dresser is filled, it will be given away, and another empty dresser will take its place.
The dresser represents the church’s participation in the Shreveport (La.) Crisis Pregnancy Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women with crisis pregnancies and offering an alternative to abortion.
The dresser will be taken to the center, which in turn will take it to an expectant mother who wants to keep her baby but cannot afford to buy the things needed for the child. Women helped through this ministry need not be single mothers — couples without means are helped as well.
The church started its dresser ministry three years ago, and has filled four thus far. The inspiration for the effort came as a result of a speech Crisis Pregnancy Center leader Nan Magness made in 1995 as part of the church’s observance of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual Sanctity of Human Life Day.
“The church has been supportive not only through the dresser ministry but with monthly payments to the center and by allowing us to speak at their church every Sanctity of Human Life Day,” Magness said of the Blanchard congregation.
First Baptist pastor James Hill encouraged the congregation to promote alternatives to abortion — and to do something to make these alternatives real possibilities.
“You can’t really tell a woman not to have an abortion if you can’t do anything to help her,” according to Magness.
The dressers are donated by different congregational members and placed in the lobby of the church. A list of needed items is located on the wall next to the dresser. Individuals write their initials next to an item, or items, they would like to donate to the ministry. By doing so, the people assume responsibility for getting those items into the dresser.
“It has been a growing experience for the church as a whole,” said member Betty Tyler. “It has made us more missions-minded. We have so much, and we are learning that we should help those who don’t.”

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  • Jennifer Blackwell