ANNAPOLIS, Md.(BP) — Though a nor’easter snowstorm cancelled the annual Maryland March for Life event on March 13, representatives from many Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) churches still gathered for a planned pre-march “Prayer for Human Dignity” hosted by First Baptist Church of Eastport in Annapolis.
BCM/D Executive Director Kevin Smith said we are motivated by the glory of God to be light and salt in a dark world.
“When I’m in conversations with unbelievers and secularists and naturalists, I often say, if humans were not created in the image and likeness of God, what is your basis for human dignity?” Smith said.
“I always want to remind Christians that even though we are set up in a political arena, we are not engaging in a political fight. We’re engaging in the declaration of the glorious truth that humanity is created in the image and likeness of God — poor humanity, wealthy humanity, first-world humanity, third-world humanity, planned babies and unplanned babies, grandmothers that die in their sleep and grandmothers that struggle with a long illness. Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God.”
Smith introduced the day’s three presenters, Nikki Barnes, who oversees the missions ministry at Kettering Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro; Jocelyn Beckman, director of the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Southern Maryland’s Leonardtown office; and Debbie Glanville, who started a pregnancy crisis ministry at Northwest Baptist Church, Reisterstown, who shared three perspectives of their pro-life ministries.
Barnes, who now volunteers at Pregnancy Center Ministry at Severna Park, Crofton and Annapolis locations, shared that she initially felt she had no way to relate to women in crisis pregnancy situations, but God moved on her heart. To her, it became a missions opportunity.
“I fell in love with it. I get to share Christ with these broken women. It’s such an eye-opener that this is right where God wants me to be,” she said.
Beckman, a member of Lexington Park Baptist Church, explained, “What a great description of working for life and standing for life. We are here today to worship and praise and pray about being image bearers of the God of the universe. That is astounding!”
Glanville, wife of Gary Glanville, interim director of missions for the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association in Sykesville, Md., shared her pro-life journey.
She grew up in Texas in the late 60’s and early 70’s when Roe v. Wade was the “buzz.” In 1972, when she was 15, her sister became the first woman Debbie knew to be pregnant out of wedlock. Her sister chose to marry the father of her child and have the baby. In 1973 abortion was legalized.
After Debbie married Gary, the couple moved to Maryland to lead Northwest Baptist Church in Reisterstown, Md. In 1985, “God was pouring out His Spirit especially on our women” despite how strong the feminism movement was. At the time, Planned Parenthood was telling women, “It’s just a blob.”
“So, we decided to start a pregnancy center,” Glanville said. “A handful of little churches banded together pulling people and money together …” and God got the glory, she said.
Now, 32 years later, Alpha Pregnancy Center, Reisterstown, is thriving with a new facility and sonogram machine.
In closing, Kevin Smith said there will be women who choose to keep their babies and with support and parenting skills, they will raise their babies. Others will choose to put their babies up for adoption.
“We need to affirm the adoption culture in our churches,” Smith said.
Smith prayed, “We pray that we will be loving people in a hurting world and that love may make a difference for life for those who are born here, those that live here and even as our seniors age and head for natural death may we be a wonderful testimony and loving servants.”