Mother’s Legacy, Daughter’s Passion
Each year at the beginning of the new legislative session, hundreds gather at the Oklahoma Capitol to promote and support the lives of unborn babies by meeting with their state senators and representatives. Those who attend are encouraged to present their state senators, representatives, Lieutenant Governor and Governor with red roses, a representation of the sanctity of the unborn.
One long-time attendee of Oklahoma’s Rose Day was Sylvia Boothe. After Boothe and her husband, Dwain, returned from their second mission field in France, they moved back to OKC in 1984 and attended Northwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Boothe was an ardent student of the Bible, and she was very well read and studious in her ministry. She was courageous and fought her entire life for those who were victims of injustice. Overall, she was gracious and loving to all people.
During the 1980s, the Boothes met Dr. Anthony Jordan, now the former executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists, while members at Northwest Baptist Church. Dr. Jordan was working to establish an alternative to abortion ministry for Oklahoma Baptists, and he invited Boothe to be the director of the pregnancy center. Boothe accepted and became the director of the first pregnancy center in the state for Oklahoma Baptists.
Boothe passionately dedicated time and energy to the Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), now the Hope Pregnancy Center (HPC). She led with grace and compassion, and her impact was felt throughout the ministry. For example, Boothe met with a woman who was encouraged by her physician to have an abortion because her baby was diagnosed with special needs. Boothe prayed for both the woman and her baby and walked with the young woman through each step of the process of her options. She offered the mom encouragement and support to keep the baby, but she also encouraged the woman to come back if she had an abortion so that she could walk with her and love on her through the healing process Boothe wanted to offer a safe place with no condemnation for the women who walked through CPC’s doors.
After Boothe left CPC, she continued to work in pro-life ministry through the North American Mission Board (NAMB). She expanded the alternative to abortion ministry of NAMB and started working nationally for crisis pregnancy work. Boothe was invested in the CPC ministry of Oklahoma even after she retired. One of her favorite days was Rose Day, and her favorite flower was a red rose. Boothe passed away on February 8, 2012, on Rose Day. Although she has been gone for ten years now, the impact of her passion and leadership within Oklahoma pregnancy centers is still alive today.
A Generational Impact
Boothe’s passion impacted her daughter, Stephanie Miller. Miller attended her mom’s conferences and trainings throughout the years of her mom’s ministry with CPC, and she has volunteered at Hope Pregnancy Center, North. She has also participated in fundraising events and is always looking for ways to serve alongside Hope Pregnancy Center.
When Miller and her husband, Les, were members of Village Baptist Church, the church was just south of the original CPC. The center’s location is almost exactly across the street from the current Hope Pregnancy Center, South. Miller was a part of a group of women from Village Baptist who wanted to establish the first closet with baby items for the men and women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Miller notes the differences in the culture of CPC and the current HPCs, “It’s been modified to meet the culture of the day from CPC and HPC. Clients were more discrete while my mom was director. However, people can find centers more easily, and we can do sonograms now. We have more locations, and we are training leaders well. I think Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) ownership expands the ministry even more!”
Boothe and Miller’s ministry of Hope is exemplary and encouraging. Boothe’s dedication to Rose Day is recognized to this day. The work of Hope Pregnancy Center would not be possible without the passion and legacy of faithful servants like Sylvia Boothe and Stephanie Miller.