For Immediate Release:
Orlando, FL – Three sidewalk counseling ministries in Orlando held a seminar in a church in the heart of Orlando on Saturday, March 5th, 2011. The seminar was attended by several pastors and 60 people from all types of church backgrounds.
This seminar was notable in that the host church, Victorious Living Fellowship, is a predominantly African American church in the heart of inner city Orlando. Last fall, Pastor Victor Morgan and Deacon Winnie Bell helped to promote 40 Days for Life, a peaceful prayer vigil outside the Orlando Planned Parenthood also located in the heart of the black community. Nancy Carrera also co-sponsored 40 Days for Life.
Here is a video of a typical afternoon during 40 Days for Life:
This was followed up with a Roe v. Wade Memorial vigil sponsored by Pro-life Action Ministries at Planned Parenthood on January 22, 2011:
Nancy Carrera, co-sponsor of 40 Days for Life, noted that it was heartening to see as many as 200 Christians, including a majority of African American and Hispanic activists, gathered in front of Planned Parenthood in recent months to pray for an end to abortion in Orlando.
Upcoming Pro-life Events
40 Days for Life – March 9th – April 17th, 2011
Time: Daily from 6 am to 6 pm
Orlando Women’s Center
1103 Lucerne Terrace
From March 9 to April 17, Orlando will be one of many communities throughout America and the world joining together for a faith-filled, groundbreaking, coordinated pro-life mobilization. 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life prayer effort that consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach.
Organizer Mary Broom says: “We are praying that, with God’s help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city – and throughout America.”
Stand4Life – May 7, 2011
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Location: Thousands will gather in silent prayer covering every abortion center in Florida.
Resound Missions Base and Stand4Life director, Leah Ramirez, remarks: “Stand4Life is a movement, not just an event. There are so many ways to be involved in the life movement from pregnancy crisis centers, sidewalk counseling, education, adoption ministry to prayer. We are hoping that Stand4Life is the catalyst for creating a life culture in our state.”
Stand4Life has gained the endorsements of many Christian leaders in Florida, including Dr. David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, who said, “Stand4Life draws attention not only to the plague of abortion in America, but also to the most powerful weapon to fight it, prayer.”
Here is a video from the Planned Parenthood location at last year’s Stand4Life:
Operation Save America (OSA) National Event – July 16-23, 2011
Life Coalition International director, Dr. Patricia McEwen, spoke about the upcoming OSA event: “There are 200 to 300 pro-life pastors, leaders and activists from around the country who lead pro-life street ministries in their cities who will be coming to Orlando for one week in July.”
Operation Save America director, Flip Benham said:
The Lord is already moving in Orlando. Christians are coming out of the closet to confront Satan and his minions at the very gates of hell, the five abortion clinics in the city. This summer, gentle Christians, moms, dads, children, grandmothers and grandfathers will travel to the “magic city” to live out their faith in the streets and storm the gates of hell. We will join the Florida saints in their fight to protect unborn children and expose the abortion industry’s deceptive inferno of lies.
Together we will proclaim the Gospel in the streets of Orlando. Standing in one accord we are steadfast and ready to take on the fiery darts of the baby killing industry. After decades of research and evidence about the for-profit murder of innocent children and the abuse of their mothers, the abortion industry has nowhere to hide. Operation Save America will proclaim the Truth in Orlando and that Truth will set the children free.
A New Spirit of Unity
Keith Tucci, pastor of Christian Life Church in Melbourne Florida (1993-1996) and former director Operation Rescue National currently serves as an overseer for Freedom Fellowship Church in Ocoee, Florida. In February, Tucci held a meeting with several of the pro-life activists from Freedom Fellowship. The purpose of the seminar was to outline vision and strategies for effective street activism. The Freedom Fellowship team covers the ministry time at the Orlando Women’s Center abortion clinic one day a week and has a vision to raise up a group of young activists to cover every abortion center in Orlando seven days week. Tucci outlined a strategy:
We’ve got to make abortion intolerable in the minds of the people and only then will we make it illegal. In the history of cultural change in this nation, it was usually the grass-roots and the church who dictated change. Abolition of slavery is the most obvious example. When they dictated change by their actions and by their willingness to spend themselves, then and only then did it become illegal. I’m a firm believer that things don’t happen from the top down; they happen because the church will make a decision.
Pro-life Action Ministries Orlando leader Michele Herzog, who was formerly part of Coral Ridge Ministries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, notes that a new spirit of unity has arisen among the ministries and churches that organize aspects of pro-life street activism from preaching, evangelism, sidewalk counseling and silent prayer vigils.
Herzog says: “We’ve done our best to try to pave the way to unity among pro-life ministries in the city of Orlando, trying to work with all the ministries. It is wonderful having the pastors lead the way! They all want to get involved — it’s catching!”
Jay Rogers, who for seven years owned a “pro-life house” across the street from Brevard County, Florida’s only abortion center, said:
We saw the abortuary in Melbourne close, reopen, move twice and finally close for good about ten years ago. According to the clinic owners, their “business” had been cut in half due to the presence of street activists. A few years ago, I moved to the Orlando area and I began to see that the presence we had in Melbourne was needed here as well. In the past four years, the number of people actively involved in Orlando has increased dramatically. More and more of the new activists are young and we are seeing more ethnic churches than ever before staring to take pro-life activism seriously.
The core leadership started to coalesce dramatically about a year ago. Now everyone knows each other a lot better. We understand that the reason for Stand4Life, 40 Days for Life and the Operation Save America events is to pray for the sidewalk counselors and evangelists, to equip and train new activists. We are not in competition to try to get the largest numbers at each event, but want to strengthen each other and build the existing pro-life movement.
Sidewalk counseling and street evangelism at the centers where the killing takes place has been more effective in saving lives than all other strategies combined. More abortion clinics have closed and more babies have been saved by taking our message directly to the streets. We can’t claim that we can stop all abortion, only God can do that, but there are several strategies that help to save lives. These strategies are being used now more than ever by a small but growing group of peaceful prayer warriors.
Our hope is not for a one-day event, a week-long event or a 40-day event, but a 365-day concerted effort to end child killing in our city in Jesus’ name.