By / Mar 28

Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 2024 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in partnership with Texas Baptists, has donated an ultrasound machine to Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, New Mexico, a city on the TX/NM border of the country that has become a popular destination for abortion tourism.

A dedication ceremony will be held April 3 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. MDT at Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center located at 301 E Cain St, Hobbs, NM 88240. Representatives from the ERLC, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baptist Convention of New Mexico, Southeastern Baptist Association and ERLC Trustees will be in attendance.

This placement was made possible because of the generosity of Texas Baptists.

“Texas Baptists are honored and delighted to work with the Psalm 139 Project on this placement,” said Katie Fruge, director for the Center for Cultural Engagement for Texas Baptists. “This partnership represents our shared commitment to grow a culture of life in a post-Roe world as we pray for a day when abortion is unthinkable.”

“Since the historic Dobbs Supreme Court ruling, the reality of abortion tourism has only grown as the abortion industry tries to outmaneuver pro-life states, and certain areas of the country are in dire need of life-saving resources,” said ERLC President Brent Leatherwood. “This is why we rejoice in our partnership with Texas Baptists to place an ultrasound machine through the Psalm 139 Project at a clinic on the New Mexico/Texas border, currently facing these challenges in a tangible way. As Planned Parenthood continues its assault on life, these instances of Baptist cooperation are needed to save lives and serve mothers as we work toward a day when abortion is no more.”

Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center was established in 2012 with the vision of providing help, hope, and healing to all persons facing unplanned pregnancies in and around the communities of Lea County in New Mexico. The center serves its community by providing free and confidential pregnancy tests, peer counseling, options counseling, and the Earn While You Learn Program. The underlying goal is to present Jesus Christ as the only true and eternal hope for clients. 

“We are grateful for the cooperative partnership of ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project, Texas Baptists and FBC Hobbs that has greatly enhanced the ministry of Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center,” said Steve Ballew, director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. “The capacity to show moms and dads the life of their child will undoubtedly result in a much greater percentage of people making a choice for life. More than that, we look forward to hearing how the follow up counseling results in eternal difference as these same moms and dads commit their lives and families to Jesus Christ.” 

The BGCT had been in communication with First Baptist Church of Hobbs about this need as the center worked to transition their resource center into a medical pregnancy care center. FBC Hobbs provided Legacy with a new building, which will serve as a permanent home for Legacy and will allow growth and further expansion of services being offered.

“We are extremely grateful for the ERLC and Texas Baptists who made the placement of this machine possible,” said Janet Waldrop, executive director of Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center. “It will have a huge impact on our ministry by providing a window through which moms and dads can see the life of their unborn child.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No ERLC Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.org.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

To request an interview contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected]

By / Mar 27

Nashville, Tenn., March 27, 2024 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has donated an ultrasound machine to The Life Center in Big Spring, Texas, funded by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

A dedication ceremony will be held April 2 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. CST at The Life Center located at 1801 S. Main Street, Big Spring, TX 79720. Representatives from the ERLC, and Crossroads Baptist Association plan to be in attendance.

“We are so grateful to be able to support ongoing, life-saving work of the Life Center,” said Miles Mullin, vice president of the ERLC. “In addition, any opportunity we have to partner with Baptist state conventions to help advance our mission to save lives and serve families is a reason to celebrate. We are grateful for the generosity of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in funding this ultrasound machine and pray it will be used in miraculous ways throughout the years to come.”

The Life Center is a nonprofit, faith-based alternative to abortion organizations advocating sexual wellness through three areas of outreach: teaching about sexual risks, helping through pregnancy, and healing through restoration. The Life Center has locations in Midland, Andrews, Big Spring, and Odessa, Texas. They uphold and promote the value of human life at every stage of existence and development. The location in Big Spring opened in 2016 to serve women experiencing unexpected pregnancies.

“We are so blessed to have a new updated ultrasound machine in our Big Spring location,” said Tracy Watson, director of The Life Center’s Big Spring location. “This ultrasound machine is a vital tool in helping our abortion-minded moms connect to the fact there is a baby growing inside their womb. This visual evidence has proven to be lifesaving.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No ERLC Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.org.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

To request an interview contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected]

By / Mar 12

NASHVILLE (BP) – The latest series on the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) podcast covers a variety of topics related to life including abortion, adoption, foster care and the ministry of pregnancy resource centers.

The series discusses the changing landscape of pro-life ministry since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, but also speaks on other important topics relevant to creating a “culture of life” throughout the nation.

“The 50-year mission of the prolife movement was realized when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, but there’s still much work to be done for our country to truly embrace a culture of life,” said Lindsay Nicolet, ERLC editorial director and podcast host. 

“The mission of those who believe that every life has inherent dignity from the moment of conception to the day of natural death is far from over. And that’s why we wanted to highlight topics related to life on our latest podcast series. We want to assist Southern Baptists to stand firm and persuasively articulate what the Bible teaches about all human life. In so doing, we pray the Lord uses the efforts of his people to work toward a day when abortion is unthinkable, mothers, babies, and fathers are cared for, and families flourish.”

Life is one of the ERLC’s four focus areas, along with religious liberty, marriage and family and human dignity.

The podcast previously covered the highly requested topic of gender and sexuality, which falls under the focus area of Marriage and Family, when the podcast relaunched last September. 

Featured in the episode is Herbie Newell, president and executive director of Lifeline Children Services and its ministry arms. Under Newell’s leadership, Lifeline increased their international outreach to 25 countries through adoption and strategic orphan care, obtained licensure in 17 states and established a foster care arm.

He spoke about how pastors and leaders play an important role in helping create a “wrap-around” pro-life culture within their ministries.

The second episode contains the ERLC Research team conducting an interview with Scott Klusendorf, the author of the book “The Case for Life.” Klusendorf has a vast array of experience advocating for the pro-life cause. 

Klusendorf has participated in debates against abortion advocates including Planned Parenthood directors and attorneys who have argued for abortion access before the Supreme Court.

He is also known for his work with Life Training Institute, which helps prepare Christians to articulate and defend the pro-life movement with rational and theological arguments.

He spoke about how he began his life’s work in pro-life ministry after seeing a video depicting abortion at a pastor’s conference, saying “everything changed for me that day.”

The last episode in the series discusses the on-going ministry of pregnancy resource centers throughout the nation and abroad.

The episode includes an interview with Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, speaking about how the convention approaches pro-life ministry.

“This issue of life is theological,” Unzicker said. “I became a Christian at the age of 28 and dove right into God’s word and immediately realized that all people are made in His image from the very first pages of the Bible. The imago Dei is why we advocate for life, and all of life. The pages of Scripture scream out that God is for life.”

“The answer to how our convention works with the pro-life movement is the same way we would work on any issue, and that is it begins with the local church. The buckets that we like to think about it at a convention level is that pro-life means that we defend, love, adopt and volunteer. 

Unzicker also said the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project has “fit like a hand and glove with churches in North Carolina.”

The episode also features a conversation with Karen Roseberry, who served much of her life as the executive director of Care Net Women’s Resource Center in Lancaster, Calif.

Roseberry tragically died in a car accident after recording her interview for the podcast, but Care Net’s staff encouraged the ERLC to still share her words of wisdom since pro-life ministry was her life’s work.

She spoke about the changes Care Net experienced since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, and the opportunities they have to share the Gospel.

“We have seen an increase of over 20 percent across the board, and certain demographics even higher, of the number of clients who are walking through our doors,” Roseberry said.

“There’s a greater and greater need for services that we provide. Far too few people know that pregnancy centers exist … so really an opportunity and a challenge is for us to be able to be better known through our community.

“We have two parts to our center. We have our clinic and we have our material center. On the clinic side, we perform pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. We also have our advocates who meet with the moms, just providing a listening ear … and as a faith-based clinic also seeking to take each opportunity that we have to share Jesus any chance that we get. We want moms and dads to know that their greatest and most important resource is Him.”

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Mar 8

Nashville, Tenn., March 8, 2024 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in partnership with N.C. Baptists, has donated an ultrasound machine to a new medical mobile unit operated by Gate Pregnancy Resource Center in Harrisburg, N.C.

A dedication ceremony will be held March 13 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST at Providence Baptist Church located at 5315 Hwy 49 S, Harrisburg, NC, 28075, where the mobile unit will be parked. Representatives from the ERLC, N.C. Baptists and Providence Baptist Church will be in attendance.

“It is always a joy to partner with North Carolina Baptists in order to serve women and save babies, and this machine placement further broadens the reach of those life-saving services,” said Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project.

Seth Brown, director of convention relations for N.C. Baptists, commented on the partnership to place the ultrasound machine at Gate Pregnancy Resource Center.

“I pray that all the tiny fingers and toes displayed by this ultrasound machine will point to a big truth,” Brown said. “Human life is precious to God, so it should be precious to us. N.C. Baptists are so grateful for the volunteers and staff at Gate Pregnancy Resource Center, along with our partners at the Psalm 139 Project. We believe God is on the move. The generosity of N.C. Baptist churches, which enable life-saving placements like this one, is just another example that we are on mission together.” 

Gate Pregnancy Resource Center has been in operation for more than 16 years and was originally started by Providence Baptist Church in Harrisburg, North Carolina. This center has traditionally been an education center until the summer of 2020. In April 2021, Gate PRC “went medical” at the Harrisburg location and launched another location in Concord in the fall of 2021. Gate offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasound scans, six months of prenatal vitamins and a video-based program with over 150 educational videos. 

The center is committed to caring for clients through pregnancy and up to one year of age. This new medical mobile unit will provide the same services as the center and partnering churches will provide volunteers that will be trained to assist with the mobile ministry. This placement was made possible through the generosity of N.C. Baptists. 

“With the donation of the ultrasound on our medical mobile unit, we can bring the number one life-saving tool to the community in need, rather than the community trying to find us,” said Kathy Bridges, executive director of Gate. “The mobile unit provides convenient access while the ultrasound provides lifesaving information. This is a powerful duo that will change lives.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No ERLC Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm 139 project.org.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

To request an interview contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected]

By / Mar 7

Today we’re talking about the important work of pregnancy resource centers and Baptist state conventions across the country.

Psalm 139:14 says that each life is “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God. Out of all of his creation, Genesis tells us that human life alone is made in His image. Because of this truth, we bear a responsibility to help preserve and protect all lives. This is why the work of pregnancy resource centers across the country and abroad is vital. The individuals in these centers commit themselves to the work of proclaiming the dignity of preborn lives, doing all they can to give them a chance at life while serving the vulnerable women and families who walk through their doors. And it’s also why partnership among Southern Baptists is essential. We can do more to protect life, together. 

On today’s episode, you’ll hear from a special guest, Karen Roseberry. She spent much of her life dedicated to serving both women and preborn children as the executive director of Care Net Women’s Resource Center in Lancaster, California. Tragically, Karen lost her life in a car accident shortly after we conducted this interview, but the staff of Care Net encouraged us to share her words with you since this work was a great passion of her life.  

Karen left a lasting impression everywhere she served and led many women to know Jesus as their Savior and choose life for their babies. She will be greatly missed, but the important work of the center continues onward as they work to provide free support and resources for women and families in their community. 

You’ll also hear from Todd Unzicker who serves as executive director-treasurer for North Carolina Baptists. Todd is passionate about the local church and the Great Commission, and his vision for North Carolina Baptists is focused on rallying them to be a movement of churches on mission together.

The ERLC podcast is a production of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It is produced by Lindsay Nicolet and Elizabeth Bristow. Technical production is provided by Owens Productions.  It is edited and mixed by Mark Owens.

By / Feb 15

The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission (CLC) and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) are partnering through the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project to provide a new ultrasound machine at the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, a southeastern New Mexico city that sits just four miles from the Texas border.

Shared commitment to ‘culture of life’

Although abortion was essentially banned in the state of Texas following Roe v. Wade’s reversal and subsequent anti-abortion laws, Katie Frugé, director of Texas Baptists’ Center for Cultural Engagement and the Christian Life Commission, said that the neighboring state of New Mexico remains an option for women seeking abortions.

“We know several abortion-vulnerable women are now traveling out of state to seek services, and we want to help support the crisis pregnancy center in Hobbs as they experience an influx of women in need of support and services,” explained Frugé.

“Texas Baptists proudly affirms the sanctity and dignity of all human life,” Frugé said. “This partnership with the ERLC is the result of our shared commitment to continuing to work to grow a culture of life in a post-Roe world.”

The ERLC added that the abortion industry has targeted Hobbs because of its location and already sees many clients from Texas. With a junior college and a four-year university in the city, Legacy has recently seen an increase in client appointments, averaging about 70 per month. They are excited to see Texas Baptists join forces to resource the city better and provide alternatives to those seeking abortions.

“At the ERLC, we are overjoyed when we can partner with state conventions as we stand for life together. This placement in Hobbs, N.M., in partnership with the BGCT, is unique since the state convention is reaching beyond its borders and giving with a missional mindset to serve their neighbors in an abortion-permissible state,” said Rachel Wiles, director of ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project.

Psalm 139 Project exists to make people aware of the life-saving potential of ultrasound technology in unplanned pregnancy situations and to help pregnancy centers minister to abortion-vulnerable women by providing ultrasound equipment for them to use.

Read the full Texas Baptists article here.

By / Feb 2

HOBBS, N.M. (BP) – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Psalm 139 Project has partnered with the Baptist General Convention of Texas to place an ultrasound at Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, N.M.

The ultrasound placement highlights the cooperation of Southern Baptists across local churches, state conventions and SBC entities in meeting a specific need in an important location.

“At the ERLC, we are overjoyed when we can partner with state conventions as we stand for life together,” said Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project.

“This placement in Hobbs, in partnership with the BGCT, is unique since the state convention is reaching beyond its borders and giving with a missional mindset to serve their neighbors in an abortion-permissible state.”

I think that’s the beauty of this placement. Many women from Texas are traveling to New Mexico where abortion is permissible. The BGCT is rightly asking the question, ‘How can we support the pro-life movement there?’

Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Jan 24

WASHINGTON (BP) – A trio of pro-life bills, endorsed by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, were either introduced, reintroduced or passed on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The Pregnancy Center Support Act was introduced to the Senate on Thursday, while the Unborn Child Support Act was reintroduced the same day. Additionally, the previously introduced Pregnant Students’ Rights Act passed the House on Thursday.

These updates took place one day before the annual March for Life, and three days before Sanctity of Life Sunday on the SBC Calendar.

Hannah Daniel, ERLC public policy director, praised the work of the lawmakers involved with the bills.

“At a time when lawmakers have been timid to voice pro-life convictions, I was encouraged to see legislative activity pushing forward the cause of life last week,” Daniel said.

At the ERLC, we are celebrating the passage of the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act along with the introduction of the Pregnancy Center Support Act and the Unborn Child Support Act. These bills recognize the dignity and personhood of the preborn and also tangibly assist new mothers and families to choose life.

Hannah Daniel

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Jan 11

Welcome to episode #348 on The ERLC Podcast where our goal is to help you think biblically about today’s cultural issues. Today, we’re starting a new series that will focus on life. In this first episode, we’ll discuss what you should know about the pro-life movement after Roe.

Dignity of all human life

God’s Word, from the very beginning, affirms the dignity of all human life. Genesis 1 tells us that at the end of the creation process, “God said, ’Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ … 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This reveals to us that every person is made in the imago Dei, the image of God. And this means that every life, regardless of age, ability, or any other feature, has infinite value that cannot be taken away. The rest of the Bible unwaveringly affirms this truth. 

Pro-life movement after Roe

The pro-life movement is grounded in this reality and, most fundamentally, has sought to protect our tiniest citizens from the horrors of abortion. The culmination of this work was realized on June 24, 2022, a historic day of celebration as the Supreme Court ruled to overturn the constitutional right to abortion and return abortion legislation back to the states. This was a long-time unifying goal of the pro-life movement. According to The New York Times, since the court’s ruling, abortion access has dropped overall, with 21 states banning or restricting it and others reinforcing abortion protections.

However, the fight for life and the mission of the pro-life movement is far from over, and there’s still much work to be done on the local, state, and federal levels. New frontiers have arisen, with abortion tourism, or travel for abortions across state lines, and chemical abortions, or abortion pills, gaining momentum across our country. 

As we begin our series, we’ll talk to several guests who will give us a clear picture of the current state of the pro-life movement since last year’s historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. 

This week’s podcast guests: Benjamin Watson, Herbie Newell, and Dr. Bart Barber

You’ll hear from Benjamin Watson, a former NFL tight end, as well as a writer, speaker, and activist. He is the author of, “The New Fight for Life: Roe, Race, and a Pro-Life Commitment to Justice.” He serves as vice president of strategic relationships with the Human Coalition, one of the largest pro-life and pro-woman organizations in the country. Along with his wife, Kirsten, he is the founder of The Watson 7 Foundation, a nonprofit focused on strengthening families. The Watsons live in Georgia with their seven children.

Also joining us is Herbie Newell, president & executive director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms. He holds a Master’s of Business Administration in Accounting from Samford University. Under Herbie’s leadership, Lifeline has increased international outreach to 25 countries through adoption and strategic orphan care, obtained licensure in 17 states, and established the foster care arm at Lifeline. 

Finally, you’ll hear from Dr. Bart Barber, who is pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Our goal on the ERLC Podcast is to help you think biblically about today’s cultural issues. As we discuss important topics that matter to Southern Baptists, you might have additional questions. We’d love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at [email protected] and let us know how you’re processing the conversations featured on the podcast. 

And just a reminder, we want to make sure you are kept up to date about the important work the ERLC is doing on behalf of Southern Baptists. The best way to do that is by joining us at ERLC.com/updates. Signing up for email updates allows you to hear directly from us about our work and ways we are serving you on the issues that matter most to Southern Baptists. 

The ERLC podcast is a production of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It is produced by Lindsay Nicolet and Elizabeth Bristow. Technical production is provided by Owens Productions.  It is edited and mixed by Mark Owens.

By / Nov 14

Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2023 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in partnership with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, has donated an ultrasound machine to Hope Center in Greeneville, Tenn.

A dedication ceremony will be held Nov. 17 from 11:00-12:00 p.m. EST at Hope Center located at 314 Tusculum Blvd., Greeneville, TN 37745. Representatives from the ERLC, TBMB and Holston Baptist Association will be in attendance. 

“It is a privilege for the ERLC to partner with the Hope Center in this grassroots, lifesaving work,” said Miles Mullin, vice president of the ERLC. “For over a decade, the dedicated folks at the center have met anxious mothers at their point of need. We know that the placement of this machine will expand that work, minister to more mothers and save more precious lives.”

The Hope Center has been serving Greene County and the surrounding Appalachian Highland area since 1989. This region of eastern Tennessee has a high poverty level with many underserved within these communities. The Hope Center became a medical pregnancy care clinic in 2012 and provides services and support to individuals facing unplanned pregnancies. They are dedicated to promoting the sanctity of human life, sexual purity and strengthening the family unit. This center sees an average of 150 clients per month. 

“It has been a privilege to work with the ERLC and to have applied for and received a grant to purchase a new ultrasound machine along with training through the Psalm 139 Project,” said Pam Crank, executive director of the Hope Center. “The ultrasound machine is one of the greatest tools that we have in our toolbox, especially when dealing with an abortion-minded woman. Statistics tell us that 85 to 90 percent of women who have an ultrasound will choose life for their babies. It’s also a great privilege for the nurses who perform the ultrasounds to be able to introduce moms to their babies for the first time. Having our own trained nurses in-house will enable us to better serve the clients in our community.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No ERLC Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.org.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

To request an interview, contact Elizabeth Bristow
by email at [email protected] or call 202-547-0209
 Visit our website at www.erlc.com
Follow us on Twitter at @ERLC.