Angela Godbold’s story of hope is not one you might expect to hear when you begin to look at the movers and shakers in the pro-life movement. She has not spoken to large crowds, urging them to choose life. She has not stood on the steps of the Capitol with a picket sign in her hand, begging legislators to stop what the health department conveniently calls “induced termination of pregnancy.” But way before the decision of Roe v. Wade was overturned, Angela was making an impact in the lives of young mothers who found themselves afraid, under-resourced, and overlooked. And it all began with a simple phone call.
When Angela was in college, terms like “abortion” and “pro-choice” and “pro-life” were not as common as they are today. She shared, “At that time, I knew so little about it, but when I did, I knew I wanted to help with preventing abortion.”
Later in life, after her own kids had gotten older, she wanted to look for ways to volunteer–and the desire to serve in crisis pregnancy centers had never gone away. As part of our church’s Serve Out Pathways, Bellevue partnered with a local crisis pregnancy center called The Morning Center. Angela had no training in crisis pregnancy counseling and very little knowledge on how to help in this type of ministry–but God had planted the desire. So she took a step.
“When I saw all that this organization did for young moms in crisis pregnancies,” Angela said, “I just called them and asked if there was something I could do. They shared that they needed volunteers in Hannah’s Closet.”
Hannah’s Closet is a ministry within The Morning Center that provides clothing and essentials for expectant mothers at no cost. After coming to the Center for an ultrasound, prenatal care, or parenting classes, they are given the opportunity to visit Hannah’s Closet, where a volunteer shops with them to help them pick out 14 clothing items for their baby, a new diaper bag full of baby essentials, and a Bible for both the parents and the child.
“We give them a huge bag of diapers, wipes, etc.–but we also get a chance to know them a little bit, encourage them, and pray with them,” Angela said. “It gives me the opportunity to help someone one on one. To let them know that, when you have nowhere else to go, help is here.”
During the pandemic, Hannah’s Closet had to close its doors. However, last year, as part of a Bellevue Loves Memphis Workday, a Bellevue team repainted and started decorating the room. The store reopened in May of 2021 with an all-new look and an encouraging experience for the parents they serve each week.
By serving at Hannah’s Closet, Angela has been able to share with anxious parents that there is hope–for them and their child. But many times in these encounters, there is a blessing tucked away for Angela, as well.
“The clients come here and meet volunteers and staff who are so warm and encouraging. Many times, the parents are in tears when we give them these resources–and sometimes, they will even come back later and let us meet their baby after he or she is born.”
No, Angela has not marched in Washington with the thousands protesting abortion, and she has never stood on the floor of Congress, lobbying for leaders to protect life. But in a simple way, she has looked into the eyes of women who have felt scared and alone–and for every parent and child she has met, she has shared that there is always hope.
The latest data shows that, in Shelby County alone, there were 3,103 abortions in 2019 (Source: Tennessee Health Department). The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will not stop the pregnancy crisis in our city as women seek alternate forms of abortion and receive travel assistance from pro-choice entities. It is up to the Church to show these expectant parents that there is a better way and that we are here.
Bellevue’s 2022 Love Offering is For Life. Learn more about this initiative and how you can get involved at bellevue.org/love-offering.