Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children



From Crisis to Hope

First printed in the May 2004 - Legacy

The name of an organization or business is very important, especially when it affects an organization's ability to attract clients. On March 23, 2004, the Board of Trustees for the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children approved a name change for its ministry to women and men experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. OBHC's two Crisis Pregnancy Centers will now be known as Hope Pregnancy Centers.

Tony Kennedy, OBHC president, says, "Part of our mission at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children is to provide hope for children. This includes the unborn child. God has confirmed again and again that individuals in helpless and hopeless situations are more open to the Gospel when you extend hope to them in a practical way. I believe this name change is a very positive and logical way of expressing our heart's desire to give hope to young women as well as the unborn.

This move follows a nationwide trend among pregnancy centers to remove the word "crisis" from their names. Although at one time the term "crisis pregnancy center" was very common, most of the centers have deleted "crisis" from their name. Of approximately 420 centers represented at a conference hosted by Focus on the Family in February 2004, only 38 centers had the word "crisis" in their name.

Market research found that names that did not include the word "crisis" had more appeal among both pro-choice and pro-life women looking for help. Focus group research confirmed that the word "crisis" envokes a strong negative reaction, especially among upper socioeconomic women. The research showed that the word might indirectly convey to women, "We know you have messed up your life. You cannot handle things on your own. Now, let us help you."

A market study by the Family Research Council stated, "Our findings indicate that American women want to maintain their sense of control and independence, even when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. They do not want to be viewed as if they are in 'crisis,' nor do they want to be pitied or patronized. Rather, they want to be empowered to carry their children to term. Centers that affirm this value in their names, services, and approach to women will have far greater appeal for them."

Candy Hines, State Director of Hope Pregnancy Ministries, sees the name change as a positive one. She states, "We began considering this change as a means to help more women and men. The word 'crisis' is a negative term that has scared some women from coming to our centers. The word 'hope' is very positive and is really what our ministry is about. We offer hope and encouragement to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies."

Signs and advertising with the new name will appear this fall. The staff and volunteers at the Hope Pregnancy Centers in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are praying that women with unplanned pregnancies will find themselves moving from a perspective of "crisis" to one of "hope."

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