A Track Record of the First Five Years of NECAC Ministry (1983-1988)
John C. Rankin
In January, 1989, I wrote a summary of the first five years of ministry for the New England Christian Action Council (NECAC), from December, 1983, through December, 1988.
- In late 1983, very few evangelicals in New England were involved in pro-life apart from local efforts. We have involved several thousands since then, along with believing Roman Catholics who appreciate our biblical basis. Over this time, I have spoken in hundreds of places, especially churches. In nearly 100 instances, I have taught the half-day or evening “Sanctity of Human Life Seminar,” which outlines the biblical basis for our ministry.
- In dozens of university settings (e.g., Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, UNH, UMass, URI), I have spoken or debated, and have seen many students change their hearts and minds. In virtually every instance, the Gospel is proclaimed.
- We have sponsored dozens of public marches, worked with picketers at abortuaries [this was prior to our own June,m 1989 initiative at New England’s largest abortion center], generated substantial and various media coverage, counseled women suffering from post-abortion syndrome, made referrals for different needs, help initiate or encourage [especially through seminars] the founding of over a dozen Crisis Pregnancy Centers, supervised Seminary students in credit work toward their degrees, written various educational materials and research papers, participated with other pro-life groups consistently, etc. Our budget is modest and our financial appeal ethical. I am full-time, but all other help comes from dozens of volunteers.
- I have made a priority of direct communication with abortion advocates. We have seen an occasional change of heart (like a 30-year veteran of abortion advocacy who publicly conceded to me in debate), and many who silence themselves because I treat them with respect and they cannot counter our treatment of the facts. Bill Baird [the “father” of the abortion rights movement] has stayed clear of me since our 1985 debate. One effort helped a major denomination withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.
- Our referendum campaign collected nearly 26,000 validated signatures in 105 Massachusetts representative districts — the largest public policy question petition drive in state history. Our research showed that some 80 per cent+ would answer “conception,” and our opponents knew this too, the power politics kept the question off the ballot. We shook the inner sanctum of the political pro-abortion establishment …