One by One Ministries is a 501c3 nonprofit that partners with Mississippi pregnancy centers to educate and mentor new mothers so they and their babies can thrive. Kristy Dunaway, community ministry director at One by One, shares how she and the ministry help mothers and their babies. Vyvyan Gilley and Rosemary McGee also share their experiences in One by One’s mentorship program.


     “I work with what we call our community model,” Kristy says. “That’s usually one pregnancy center and one church — connecting them (and communities) together.” Kristy says the model is used when an organization, usually a local pregnancy center, wants to serve new and expectant moms. Relationships are crucial throughout the process.


     “We go in and we partner with these pregnancy centers to train mentors from local churches,” she says. “We come in one by one, and we train mentors from that church with (how to use) our curriculum. (We) train the mentors how to use relationship evangelism to share the gospel with the moms and how to be a friend to these moms who are expecting a baby.”


     Kristy says the majority of the mom they work with were not planning on the pregnancy. “The client advocate at the (pregnancy) center might say, ‘Do you feel you have enough support to have this child (along with) support and encouragement in your life?’ (The mom) might be (like) ‘No, I really don’t have a lot of support.’”


“(We) train the mentors how to use relationship evangelism to share the gospel with the moms,” says Kristy Dunaway, community ministry director at One by One.


     Once the advocate shares information about the program, and a mother says she would like a mentor, an application is completed. Kristy says she will then work to find the right match for the mom.


     “Usually I’ll think, ‘OK, what did this mom tell me about herself? Who do I think would be a good fit?’ Our mentors not only are trained, but before they are trained they fill out an application, we do a background check on them, (and) they are required to have a prayer partner,” she says. “I get to know them before they’re matched with the mom so we can see who is a good fit.”


     Once a mother is matched with a mentor, she is able to participate in the mentorship program from the time of her positive pregnancy test through the baby’s first birthday. “Ideally, a mom would get a positive pregnancy diagnosis and fill out an application … then we would match her with a mentor early,” Kristy says.


     Once matched, the mentor will begin meeting with the mother monthly using One by One’s specialized curriculum to support the mom and baby.


     “(Part of the curriculum) is being a friend — we want that mentor to be a good listening ear for the mom, because often our moms need somebody to talk to. They need somebody who is nonjudgmental and will listen and who can give advice if needed.”


     In addition to offering emotional support and a listening ear for the mom, the mentor provides educational materials.


     “The mentor shares what we call handouts from the parent pack with the mom. We (also) give her this baby book. It’s got these colorful sheets in it, and (the mentor works) on this baby book with the mom each month.”


     The baby book includes educational pages that discuss the baby’s health, planning for the baby’s arrival, and activity cards. The book provides space for photos of the mom and baby, taken at each meeting after the baby is born. The book not only serves as a helpful tool for the mom but a keepsake she can cherish for years to come.


      Vyvyan Gilley of Corinth, Mississippi, says she has served as a mentor with One by One Ministries for over a year and a half. “I have really enjoyed it,” she says. “The mom that I was matched with — she and I kind of clicked.”


Though their mentorship is technically finished, mentor Vyvyan Gilley (pictured with her husband, Bryson) says she and Rosemary remain in contact. “We still see each other, and our kids play together.”


     Vyvyan says she found out she also was pregnant about a month after meeting Rosemary McGee. “We were pregnant together, and that bonded us a little bit more,” Vyvyan says.


     She says her favorite part was developing the friendship and seeing Rosemary grow. “You don’t always get to see the effects of your ministry, but I felt like in this case (I’ve) been blessed to be able to see the results.”


     Vyvyan says that even though their mentorship is technically finished, she and Rosemary remain in contact. “We still see each other, and our kids play together,” she says. “It’s been really sweet.”


     Vyvyan says she was able to share her faith with Rosemary in many ways. “I’ve been able to point her and remind her to look to Jesus during the hard times. I’ve been able to share my experiences and my struggles and my spiritual victories with her. I’ve been able to help her redirect her attention and put it back on God. (That’s) been really great to get to do.”


Rosemary McGee with her son, Zayyvon.


     Rosemary, who also lives in Corinth, shares her perspective on the mentorship program. “When I found out I was pregnant with my son, it wasn’t the greatest time. I was in college, and I ended up having to take a break.” Rosemary says Vyvyan stepped in and served as a mentor and mother figure. “(Vyvyan is) definitely dependable and trustworthy. I absolutely have been blessed overall with the experience with her.”


     Rosemary says that not only did the program help her tremendously in preparing for the arrival of her son, but having a mentor also impacted her faith. “I feel like it’s made my relationship with God stronger. (Vyvyan) opened a different perspective as far as my faith for me. (It’s) just been overall a blessing.”


     For more information about One by One Ministries, visit or call 901-857-1153.


Anna Claire O’Cain is a former English teacher and current grad student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Liberty University. She is married to her best friend, J.T., a teacher and youth pastor. Most of all, she is a believer who is passionate about serving God through missions and worship. Through MCL, she now uses her love for writing to serve the Lord in a new way.