A realtor, a minister and a housewife walk into a room … sounds like the beginning of a joke, but actually it’s the beginning of what is now Life’s Choices! These three people were part of the original steering committee who had the vision to start a pregnancy center in Kutztown, Pennsylvania in 1986.
This year as Life Choices celebrates 35 years of serving Berks County, I had the opportunity to sit down with two of our founders to learn more about those early days. Kathleen Welsh, who was then a stay-at-home mom and Randy Grossman, who was the pastor of Kutztown Bible Fellowship Church at that time, shared their reflections. Here’s what I learned:
1. The initial idea for starting a ministry in Kutztown came from a realtor, Greg Nash.
He had a property he wanted to use for the Lord and approached Pastor Grossman with his idea. This man’s generosity, along with others who stepped out in faith, is why we are here today. What an inspiration! Business men and women have incredible potential to use their influence, expertise, and resources for God’s purposes.
2. Unbeknownst to each other, both Pastor Grossman and Kathleen mentioned two specific things that would help define the atmosphere of the new pregnancy center:
- The ministry would focus on life, not death. While the horrors of abortion are undeniable, the center would not use graphic photos of aborted babies or harsh accusations of murder to make a point. It was determined that we would speak the truth in love, knowing that “the truth will set you free.” (Ephesians 4:15)
- The center would be woman-focused. It was to be a place of compassion for every woman, regardless of the choice she was considering. Our center is clearly pro-woman, pro-baby, and pro-abundant life.*
These things remain today as part of our policies and procedures. Our “brand,” the culture that influences everything we do, is a culture of love and grace, truth and integrity. It is a culture of life and not death.
3. Pastor Grossman remarked that Kutztown has the highest concentration of young adults in Berks County, with Kutztown University enrolling close to 10,000 students each year.
Being located less than one block from campus, our Kutztown center is strategically placed, with thousands of young people in our backyard who can benefit from our services. For 35 years we have remained the only woman-focused social agency in town.
Understanding how we were started and the unique opportunities we have, has made us more passionate than ever about reaching young women and men in both our Kutztown and Hamburg centers. The Lord has placed us here for a purpose. With your help we can continue bringing light and life to our community for many years to come.
If you’d like to partner with us financially and help us continue in our life-giving work, you can click below to give online. Thank you!
*Life’s Choices does not refer for or recommend abortion.