Pastors with a Pro-Life Passion
For much of their 48 years of marriage, Pastors Samuel and Yvonne Bailey have worked among the downcast on the streets of St. Louis, feeding, clothing and providing shelter for the homeless.
Compassion from cradle to grave remains a focus of the Baileys, who now lead Restoration Assembly of God in nearby St. Ann, Missouri.
"We are dedicated to upholding the dignity and value found in all human life by virtue of being created in the likeness of the Living God," Bailey says. "One of our passions now is working in pro-life ministry."
Many of the 50 predominantly African-American attendees of the church spend Saturday mornings outside a St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility, praying and urging abortion-minded women to keep their babies. Earlier this year, members distributed copies of the Pentecostal Evangel Sanctity of Human Life Edition along with other literature.
"We try to get the word out and educate women and men about the wrongs of abortion," says deaconess Joyce Richard. "We counsel them, refer them to other agencies and keep supplies of diapers and baby clothes on hand."
Evangelist Betty Lewis, who attends the church, says she worked in a women's health department for 36 years and had many opportunities to minister to young pregnant women.
"I prayed for them and with them," Lewis says. "I was able to get through to some of them who were planning to have abortions."
Richard says she is heartbroken that blacks account for 37 percent of the nation's abortions, but are only 12 percent of the population.
In St. Louis, black babies comprise 80 percent of abortions, says Bailey, who is among those praying regularly outside Planned Parenthood.
"It's a great place to share the gospel," Bailey says. "Pro-life ministry is so fulfilling when a young lady changes her mind and decides not to get an abortion."