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National Black Fellowship Issues Mandate for Life


National Black Fellowship Issues Mandate for Life

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Mandate for Life, recently introduced by the National Black Fellowship (NBF), is aimed at slashing the high rate of abortions among Black American women.

The new initiative, unveiled in April 2023 at the Choose Life Forum in Milwaukee at the Embassy Center MKE church, is gaining momentum, reports Walter Harvey, NBF president and ethnic fellowship executive presbyter.

“Aborting the unborn is a serious pain point for urban Black communities, nationwide,” Harvey, 63, observes.

Since the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision more than 50 years ago, almost 40% of all abortions in America have been in the Black community, resulting in erasing the lives and destinies of an estimated 23 million Black babies. Sadly, this same trend drags on.

The NBF’s 260 congregations (over 50% Black) seek to transform their communities by developing and deploying African American leaders to plant and revitalize churches to advance biblical justice and restore families.

The Fellowship has formed partnerships to assist pastors in organizing programs.

Arnold M. Culbreath, an activist in the life movement for several decades, speaks at NBF conferences and meetings and led a Q&A session with his wife, Barbara, at the 2023 Choose Life Forum. The couple will speak next year at NBF’s REACH Conference in Atlanta on July 15-17.

Culbreath serves as director of ministry engagement with the Douglass Leadership Institute, president/founder of Breath of Life, LLC, and Barnabas-in-Residence pastor at Peoples Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Culbreath advocates a whole life and abundant life approach (womb to tomb) in confronting the abortion crisis. This means covering a range of issues - Godly abstinence for singles, pregnancy counseling and support, motherhood, and fatherhood responsibilities, keeping the family together, adoption assistance, and post abortion healing.

He refuses to sugar-coat abortion politics. “A nation that legalizes the sin of killing preborn life in the womb has made a covenant with death,” he says.

The NBF also supports urban black churches in establishing life centers to address the needs of women both before and after unplanned pregnancies.

Chicago City Life Center, a church located in Englewood, one of the Windy City’s most dangerous neighborhoods, is preparing to launch the South Side Life House for women. Charles Moodie, lead pastor, says God is already opening doors for this bold but vital project.

“We want to offer a resource to give pregnant women the many options they need to save their babies,” Moodie, 44, says. “Newborns die in our neighborhood at three times the national rate.”

Plans call for renovating a vacant 14,000-square foot building on the church’s 2.5-acre property. The center will focus on women in their 20s who may already have children but cannot afford to care for a new child. Many are homeless and desperate for housing.

Moodie recalls a heart-wrenching visit with an unmarried young woman who had previously attended City Life as a youngster. She admitted her conflict with aborting or saving her unborn child. With two children and no room for another one, she aborted her baby. Family members exerted undue pressure, calling her dumb and selfish to keep the child to term.

After meeting the woman months later, Moodie learned that she would have kept the baby if housing had been available. This sad outcome prompted his faith journey to act.

The new center will offer apartments for up to three years for resident women. Moodie is currently raising funds from private donors, churches, and foundations. The renovations will cost an estimated $7 million. “We are committed to changing our neighborhood one life at a time,” he says.

Trinity Chapel Life Center in Compton, California, has offered pregnancy resource services since 1993.

“Long ago, God instilled in my late father, Edward Robinson Sr., and former pastor, the vision to serve outside the four walls of our church,” says Edward T. Robinson Jr., 54, senior pastor.

Grace Elliot Center, an official outreach ministry of Trinity and named after its founder, is headed by Tiffany Marshall, executive director, and serves a diverse mix of multiethnic clients.

Most unmarried younger single mothers who face unplanned pregnancies feel abortion is their only option because they cannot financially support a new child.

For example, diapers are expensive at up to $100 a month. Cans of infant formula can cost $50 to $75 a month. And food stamps are off limits for diapers.

Grace Elliott partners with the Obria Medical Clinics Los Angeles, which provides a nurse practitioner and technicians to service and operate the ultrasound equipment.

Besides pregnancy counseling and support services, Grace Elliott ministers to women with love and mercy, prayer and sharing the gospel. “On average, our partnering with Obria saves about 80 babies annually,” Marshall estimates.

The NBF intends to keep energizing all AG churches in preventing abortions in their communities. “It is not a political issue,” Harvey stresses. “It’s a biblical issue that goes back to God, the author of life, and we firmly believe in the sanctity of all human life.”

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