Grateful for new neighbors — and for leaders
You might notice on our masthead that our address has changed. That because our office has moved to Jackson’s Fondren community.
Our new space at Mantle City Club sits one floor above Babalu Tacos and Tapas. As of this writing, it’s been just over a day since I moved in, and I have discovered that their chicken skewers, steak skewers and mushroom tapas dish are all tasty.
Jackson has an abundance of good local restaurants for a city its size, and Fondren is one of those areas where you can eat at 10 of them within a mile radius. I think I’ll enjoy having neighbors who serve me food.
But nobody agrees with everything their neighbors do. Along with the bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants and retail stores, another of my new neighbors is an abortion clinic.
I do not condemn the women who enter the clinic. Those of us who are pro-life should remember that these women bear the image of God as much as their unborn children do. But I’m grateful that for 40 days starting March 6, people will be praying on the sidewalk outside the clinic. And hopefully, women will change their minds before going in.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 40 to 50 million abortions happen every year around the world. And according to the CDC, more than 600,000 of those take place in America, where the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case made abortion legal in 1973.
When Planned Parenthood opened an abortion clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas in 1998, four members of the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life met for an hour of prayer. That is how 40 Days for Life started.
Today, 40 Days for Life is a twice-yearly campaign of prayer and fasting, community outreach and peaceful vigil. And the effort has grown from four leaders in Texas to more than 750,000 volunteers in 56 countries.
Since 40 Days for Life started in 1998, more than 15,000 lives have been saved from abortion, and 99 abortion facilities have closed— including the one in Bryan/College Station. That building is now the international headquarters for 40 Days for Life.
On March 6, Pro-Life Mississippi will kick off Jackson’s 40 Days for Life campaign with Shawn Carney, founder and president/CEO of 40 Days for Life. The rally will take place at 6 p.m. outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, at the corner of State Street and Fondren Place.
Anyone who wants to sign up to pray outside the clinic during the 40 days (March 6–April 14) can call Pro-Life Mississippi at 601-956-8636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praying outside an abortion clinic is a bold choice. Starting a campaign that winds up doing so all over the world? Even bolder. Such moves require — and this is an understatement— leadership.
This month’s cover story is about just that. For the 11th year in a row, we are honoring Christian Leaders of the Future, high school seniors in Mississippi who have displayed faith, leadership and service (page 23). Two of them, a boy and a girl, will each be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to be announced March 5 at Belhaven University.
If you’re like me and you love food, check out our feature on Primos, an iconic Jackson-area restaurant that will celebrate 90 years this spring (page 18). For any kind of business to last that long, there’s got to be something to the leadership of the owners. In Primos’ case, that would be founder Angelo “Pop” Primos and his kids and grandkids who’ve kept the restaurant going.
You’ll find more leadership inspiration from Dan Hall on page 8. And don’t forget our two new columnists, Barb Martin and Kevin Jackson, who are taking on your tough questions and a Bible study through Psalm 119 respectively. You can find Barb on page 34 and Kevin on page 36.
I hope this edition encourages you to cultivate leadership in your own life. No matter what position you occupy at home, at church, at work or in the community, you can still lead. All it takes is submission to our ultimate leader and King.