As its long-term lease approached expiration late this summer, the leadership at CPC Women’s Health Resource figured they’d have a little time to decide whether or not to renew their lease or start looking for a permanent building in Napoleon, Ohio—40 miles southwest of Toledo.
Turned out they’d miscalculated. Before he knew it, executive director Mark Pitman was informed that the space had been rented out to a new tenant, and his ultrasound-equipped medical clinic would need to be out within 30 days.
Just as Pitman, his staff and volunteers at four total locations throughout Northwest Ohio have expressed to clients over the past 30 years, however, CPC Women’s Health Resource had more options available than they’d realized.
In fact, like every one of the 5,000-plus mothers who have chosen life for their children throughout the organization’s history, Pitman and his team are already seeing—even in the middle of a stressful time—that the best is yet to come.
Since learning they’d be out of doors in mid-August, CPC Women’s Health Resource has relocated to temporary office space in the heart of downtown Napoleon—overcoming a long-term barrier to serving clients just by its temporary relocation—and is on the cusp of closing on property that perfectly suits their life-saving, family-building mission.
Situated right next to the Henry County Job and Family Services, which Pitman estimates 85 percent of the clinic’s clients are already visiting, CPC Women’s Health Resource of Napoleon is purchasing the property directly from the county for one-fifth the cost it would be on the open real estate market.
“They’re going to be driving right past our office, pulling into the same complex when they go to those services,” Pitman said. “We hope that it’s synergistic in the sense that it’s meeting the needs of our clients and providing us a greater level of exposure than where we were previously.”
This isn’t the first time that Pitman, a former business portfolio manager-turned pastor, has seen his organization on the receiving end of an unforeseen blessing of low-priced, high-value property.
Earlier this year, Pitman was approached by a neighboring business owner at the Defiance, Ohio, location—which was started in 1987, just two years after the organization was first formed in Bryan, Ohio, in 1985.
The neighbor told Pitman he was interested in off-loading the property at a “severe discount.”
Pitman had only one question: “Does your ‘severe’ mean the same thing as my ‘severe?’”
Of course, it was, to the tune of—again—one-fifth the anticipated cost. That price, plus a bit of cleanup, could help the organization’s top-performing location expand its capacity to serve in coming years.
“God has been very generous to us,” Pitman, who has been involved with the organization for a decade, including the past three years as executive director, said. “We have the potential to do a little bit more in that particular area if we need to expand the center itself.”
Now at the starting line of a building project in Napoleon, Pitman’s experience in the financial field could pay off in a big way for the organization he leads. After graduating from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Pitman worked in portfolio management in downtown Chicago starting in the late 1980s, leading up to his family’s move to Northwest Ohio 17 years ago.
Working with an investment firm in Bryan, Pitman’s career trajectory then took an unexpected turn after he led business associate to Christ over lunch at Applebee’s. Sensing a call to vocational ministry, Pitman would quit his job and enter pastoral ministry, where he has served the past 11 years.
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Just before CPC Women’s Health Resource began a search process to replace its long-term executive director, budgetary needs in his church led Pitman to cut back on his hours, which he now supplements—and then some—with his duties as director.
“God has been incredibly good and faithful to me over this time,” Pitman said. “It’s been busy, but such an incredible adventure. There have certainly been lots of twists and turns, and it hasn’t been without its bruises along the way, but there’s an ongoing sense of Gods faithfulness through it all.”
With the aforementioned locations in Defiance, Bryan and Napoleon, plus Wauseon, Ohio, CPC Women’s Health Resource offers its clients free pregnancy testing, free ultrasounds, post-abortive healing, material support and parenting classes at all four sites, and teaches sexual risk avoidance courses at schools in six counties through the state’s Project Respect program.
While the STI testing and treatment program is currently on hold after a partnering nurse practitioner moved away from the area earlier this year, all four locations are also equipped to offer those services free of charge, which Pitman hopes to bring back on line as soon as possible.
At 40 miles from Toledo, the Napoleon clinic is the closest of all four to an abortion business. Together, the four locations served clients with life-affirming alternatives to abortion 3,500 times in 2015, and celebrated the 5,000th baby born through the center’s ministry earlier this fall.
“As long as the scourge of abortion continues to remain in our country, we will continue to serve,” Pitman said. “We’re trying to make an impact one life at a time. This is one life at a time, a story-by-story, life-by-life approach. Every client has an individual story, unique in so many ways, and it’s just an incredible blessing to serve.”