January 27, 2023

photo submitted
Members of the Taylor Memorial Baptist Church participated in the 2021 cleanup of what the Hobbs congregation calls the Stone Building. The site will be the permanent home of the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center upon completion of the renovations.

HOBBS, NM – For more than a decade, the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center has not had a permanent location for its service. That was until First Baptist Church voted on Sunday (January 22) to donate an unused building on its property to serve as the center’s future home.

Lori Bova, Chair of Legacy’s Board of Trustees and former Chair of Trustees of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Freedom Commission, said the building will provide exactly what the center needs.

“As soon as I walked into the building, I was like, ‘Oh my God,'” Bova said. “A lot of transformational stories have happened at our center and this building just gives us an amazing space. I envision expanding our services where we can offer more things to the community.

“We could never have had the budget to purchase a property like this and it will serve to continue a legacy of life in Hobbs.”

legacy

A little over 10 years ago, a group of women from Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs, where Bova is a member, founded the Legacy Resource Pregnancy Center. According to Bova, it has since moved to different temporary locations five or six times.

Legacy’s last location was simply a rented house in a residential neighborhood, which Bova says would sometimes make potential visitors feel unsafe or uncomfortable entering it.

“We never had a very stable presence in the community because we had to move and we were in places that didn’t really look like a professional facility,” she said. “I think with this future home, customers can have more confidence that the services we provide are a staple in the community.”

First Baptist will allow Legacy to use part of its education wing as the center’s new temporary space while the donated building across the street undergoes a renovation for about a year.

Legacy offers women resources such as pregnancy testing, classes on various subjects, baby supplies, and opportunities for prayer and relationship building. The new premises allow the center to expand its offer.

But Bova said true transformation is the ultimate goal.

“I’ve learned being pro-life sometimes just means getting needs met,” she said. “But what I love about Legacy is that we know that ultimately meeting their needs isn’t what will solve their problems like hopelessness or loneliness. We can pray with these women and share the love of Christ and the gospel with them.”

Game Status

The need for the center is great in this particular area of ​​New Mexico because Hobbs is close to the Texas border.

Bova said because of abortion restrictions in Texas, there has been an influx of Texas women seeking abortions in New Mexico. Hobbs doesn’t have an abortion clinic; Most of them are located in the northern part of the state.

The city has been the subject of some controversy regarding abortion law. In November, the City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance establishing the city as a sanctuary for unborn children.

The ordinance relies on a federal law, still on the books, that bans the mailing of drugs or materials needed for abortions through the mail, making it essentially impossible to open an abortion clinic in the city.

On Monday (January 23), New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez petitioned the state Supreme Court to overturn the abortion order in Hobbs and one in Clovis, NM

Unlike Texas, New Mexico abortion is legal up to the day of delivery. Some pro-life advocates view the New Mexico lawsuits as test cases of how pro-life advocacy and work is conducted in states with Democratic-controlled governments.

Historical partnership

The connection between First Baptist and Taylor Memorial is long. The latter church was founded by First Baptists in the 1950s.

Jim Fry is the First Baptist Church Administrator.

“We saw the vision in our offices, but we wanted to do a good job of communicating it to the congregation,” Fry said.

“We felt this would be a good place where [Legacy] would not have to move and own their own building. The Church decided that it wanted to be a part of this ministry on a large scale. It is hugely important that churches work together towards a common goal and that has been very exciting for us.”

After several business meetings, the community voted unanimously last fall to give Legacy the title for the building.

Then, Taylor Memorial voted to donate its $50,000 budget surplus to the building’s renovation project.

Additionally, the new First Baptist pastor is from Texas and helped connect Legacy to the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Plans are underway for the BGCT to help Legacy acquire ultrasound and other equipment.

“Texas isn’t fighting quite as much on the abortion front right now,” Bova said, “so they want to come across the state line and help. It’s just a really beautiful picture of the cooperative spirit of Southern Baptists.”

full circle

Before First Baptist owned the building, it was part of a hospital in the 1930s and 1940s and served as a place where babies were born.

The building is known in the community as the Stone Building because Stone was the surname of the doctor who often delivered the babies. Stone’s grandson has reached out to Legacy and pledged financial support so the building and the Stone family will once again help bring life to the world.

For Bova, Legacy is not just about saving the lives of unborn children, but also the lives of their mothers.

“We have seen dozens of women come to know the Lord through their interactions at our center,” Bova said. “That is the ultimate goal. We want babies to be saved from abortion, but ultimately we want her to come into a saving relationship with the Lord.”

(EDITORS NOTE – Timothy Cockes is a Baptist Press contributor.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *