Maryland/Delaware Baptists March for Life

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Over a thousand people gathered on March 12 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Annapolis for the annual March for Life. People from diverse backgrounds and faith communities gathered on this windy evening to speak out about the sanctity of life and march against pro-choice legislation in the Maryland legislature.

CLPA Member Faith Loudon marches in the March for Life. (Photo by Sharon Mager)

“We can’t keep quiet about this,” said Faith Louden, a BCM/D Christian Life and Public Affairs (CPLA) Committee member, as she lined up to march with a sign in her hand. “We’ve got to shout it. People in the churches need to know what’s happening in Annapolis. God doesn’t expect churches to do nothing when they take God out of our state.”

The march was preceded by services for both Catholics and Protestants. Bill Voelp, Executive Pastor at Redemption City Church, Baltimore, and a CLPA member, organized the Protestant service in St. Mary’s Catholic School’s hall, adjacent to the church, with hopes of “casting a wide net” and encouraging excitement and awareness for the march among many different groups. He pointed out that the importance of the issue superseded differences when it came to marching together.

Pastor Chris McCombs shares the message at the Protestant service prior to marching. (Photo by Sharon Mager).

“I don’t want to be known for what we’re against; I want to be known for what we’re for,” Voelp said. “We’re for life—so are lots of Jewish people, Islamic people—you can’t discount any of that when it comes to this cause.”

The service began with music led by Alex Cooper, worship pastor at Mariners Church in Annapolis, and Eric McAllister, director of gathered worship at Redemption City Church. The duet mixed modern worship music with classical hymns, engaging over a hundred attendees with a mixture of musical styles.

Chris McCombs, senior pastor of Lexington Park Baptist Church, delivered a rousing sermon to the congregation based on Psalm 23. He encouraged listeners to think of themselves following the lead of the Good Shepherd and walking in the steps of Jesus as they marched through the streets of Annapolis.

He told listeners to let God write the “dossier” of their life stories — a dossier filled with trusting God for all their needs, walking with Him through dark times, and proclaiming biblical truths in love to the world around them.

“This is a dossier of life from the womb to the tomb,” McCombs said. “It’s bigger than abortion — we need to love people and pray for them even if they’re against life. There are people who will only know this life and won’t know eternity with Jesus. We need to stand for life now and focus on eternal life.”

Joel Gilbert, chairman of the CLPA Committee, marches for life. (Photo by Sharon Mager)

McCombs continued, “Tonight, as we walk these streets, we declare a dossier over Annapolis for life, and may the hordes of hell know that the people of God showed up!”

The service concluded with a short gospel message and prayer.

“I really appreciate seeing the Protestant presence here at the Maryland march and particularly having people from our denomination represented,” said one pastor’s wife from a BCM/D church.

“It was awesome!” said Louden.

Groups reunited after the services to march down to Lawyer’s Mall. The number of participants was so large that Bladen Street had to be shut down. Enthusiastic marchers waved signs and cheered as speakers came one by one to the podium to welcome the audience and share information about Maryland legislation relating to abortion.

Associate Executive Director Mark Dooley leads prayer at the close of the March for Life. (Photo by Sharon Mager)

Leaders from the Maryland March for Life reminded the group that they were “a voice for the voiceless” as they showed up, marched, and followed up with legislators to voice their beliefs. Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation and self-proclaimed “factivist,” also shared his experiences as an adopted child and an adoptive parent.

BCM/D Associate Executive Director Mark Dooley concluded the rally with prayer, asking for God to continue working in the hearts of legislators in Maryland and around the country, specifically asking that states would continue their efforts to restrict abortions at all stages of pregnancy. He asked for God to continue using efforts like the Maryland March for Life to accomplish His Will and that believers would continue their efforts to fight for the rights of the unborn.

Shelley Mahoney is a freelance writer and the Enrichment Director of Rosedale Christian School.