In 1984, Vonetta Ferguson had an idea to minister to women who are going through challenging pregnancies. Ferguson’s idea was merely a seed, but planted in the fertile soil of her ambition to serve. The idea soon took root after someone handed her a manual about a crisis pregnancy center. In July of 1985, her idea bloomed and with her perseverance and the work of others like her, the Pregnancy Help Center (PHC) non-profit agency was born.
Originally PHC operated out of a small office building on 9th Street, where they were cramped as they expanded their services. Through unexpected blessings, they are now operating out of a large facility on nine acres on Seymour Highway that previously housed Loving Christian Maternity Home.
The maternity home dissolved and gifted the entire estate to PHC. Ferguson, who has served as director for the center for over twenty-five years said, “Every year we were entrusting God to get us to a place where we could expand. God brought the right people and the right things to us at the right times, and we couldn’t be more blessed to be in our new home. We have so many ideas on expanding our services even more, and we couldn’t have done that in the other place.”
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Since moving into the home in January 2011, PHC now has a place for just about everything. The large living area serves as a focal point and gathering place for classes, and rooms are set up for consultations and sonograms. The large kitchen and dining room are an ideal place for their cooking classes, and the backyard has a playground.
But beyond the backyard is the pride and joy of the center. The Garden of Hope consists of a prayer bunker, a patio area, and most importantly, the Wall of Hope. The wall is a heart-shaped area where children who were lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion are remembered.
Beyond the Garden of Hope, a Prayer Path winds beyond the fence into the valley. On the path there are twelve prayer points as well a beautiful walking bridge built by a Boy Scout working to earn his Eagle Badge, all at no cost to PHC. Both the Garden of Hope and Prayer Path are open to the public.
In addition to the beautiful facility that PHC calls home, the non-profit provides a phenomenal amount of services free of charge to an average of 800 mothers and fathers from all over Texoma every year. “We serve anyone who seeks our services,” Ferguson said. All services are free of charge and include consultation, pregnancy test, prenatal classes, parenting classes, as well as relationship classes. PHC is also trained in the Prepare/Enrich program which provides premarital counseling approved by the "Twogether in Texas" program. All classes are casual and fun, and include a short non-denominational Bible study.
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A 24-year old mother named Savannah participated in classes at PHC during her pregnancies with both of her daughters, now aged 4 and 4 days. “I learned so much, not just about how to be a better mother, but about being a better person and a better Christian. The women there are so kind and helpful. I recommend it to everyone and will definitely go back when God blesses us with more children,” Savannah said, adding, “I would love to one day volunteer at the Center so I can share my experience and support other women as I have been supported.”
PHC only has two paid employees and a host of volunteers who serve in a variety of ways to keep the Center working smoothly. In addition to the administrative volunteers, all their nurses, facilitators, mentors, and even the medical director, serve on a volunteer basis only.
The agency receives no government funding and relies solely on donations from individuals, businesses, and churches, along with proceeds from various fundraising events throughout the year. The largest event, Walk for Life, is always held on the Saturday preceding Mother’s Day. This year’s event is on May 9th and will be held at Lucy Park’s Pavilion #1. Registration begins at 9:00am with the walk starting at 10:00am. The 2015 Walk for Life theme is Hold On To Hope. More information can be found at www.walkforlife.wfpregnancyhelpcenter.org. A Walk for Life is also held at PHC’s Vernon branch on the same day. PHC also holds their Classic 100-Golf Marathon every year in October.
With all that the Pregnancy Help Center does for soon-to-be and new mothers and fathers, Ferguson acknowledges that they aren’t a cure all. “We don’t try to solve all their problems, we’re simply seed planters. God brings them to us at a point in their life that we can make a difference. We help them take small steps in the right direction to lead them on a good path for them and their children. Small steps in their lives can lead them to someone else who can make a difference, too.”
The Pregnancy Help Center provides support for all mothers, regardless of income (high, low, or no income). To learn more about their services, or to volunteer or donate go to www.wfpregnancyhelpcenter.org or call 940.322.4883 (this also serves as their 24-hour confidential help line). Listen to their weekly broadcast on KMOC-FM 89.5 every Friday at 6:55am, 10:00am, and 2:30pm.
Article originally appeared April 23, 2015 at Archer County News at the following link: here. Republished with permission.