As told by John Barros
In June of 2012 I went to a PEF Conference in Bristol, TN. I wanted to serve at Bristol Regional Women’s Center, an abortion clinic, with other believers. I remember the irony of the center being on the corner of State and Slaughter. I called Patte Smith and told her there was no one serving here. We spent the next few days praying for churches to rise up.
What a difference a year makes! I came back to the PEF Conference this year and five churches were represented there with six pastors and 60 saints from those churches! I know it was not my prayer but many praying people that has done this. It was unbelievably beautiful to serve with these folks; I have never seen such humble servants in my life. Pastor Justin Pierce from Grace Reformed Baptist, Pastor Charles Humphries from St. Peter’s Presbyterian, Pastor Kenny from another Reformed Baptist Church and the other pastors led in such a God-honoring way. Everyone was so precious.
There was a group of pro-abortion protesters there spewing some of the vilest things you have ever heard. But the saints just loved on them, offering water, lunch, etc. In the beginning it just seemed to make them angrier. There was constant horn-blowing as citizens of Bristol drove by with their thumbs up in appreciation for the people standing in opposition to abortion. Some bought water, offered food, etc.
As the day wore on a few of the pro-abortion people began to speak. There isn’t time to go into the conversations here, but by the time we left a man said “I think I should be on your side,” and asked for Charles’ card so he could possibly go to St. Peter’s. Another guy claiming to be agnostic wanted to follow up with Charles and a young single mother of two traded me her button from Pro Choice Bristol for my card so she could hear more of the gospel. I strongly encouraged her to get with one of the ladies there but to call if she had any questions.
I will cherish it forever. We went to decompress over ice cream and I was asked if I had any advice… but they are everything I hope to be someday..