By Allen Palmeri
COLUMBIA—Brooke Taylor, pastor, Bethel Baptist Church, Independence, was given the honor of leading about 90 people in prayer the night of Sept. 21 as they held battery-operated candles in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic here on Providence Road.
Taylor spoke into a bullhorn as he began with soft, gentle tones.
“Thank you so much for Your mercy, Father,” he prayed. “We pray that you would help us to be merciful to the ladies and to the men who come into this place of horror, this place of destruction. We pray that we would be merciful to them as You have been merciful to us. We pray that we would be kind to them as Jesus has been kind to us. That we would be gentle and compassionate, recognizing that they are in need of the truth and that they are in need of the Gospel.
“Father, we pray through Your Spirit that we would have power as we pray, and as we dedicate ourselves in these next few days to the saving of life, we pray that You would help us to be diligent not only when we are here but when we are home, to be aware of lives that are hanging in the balance, and that we would be dedicated to seeing Your work being done through us as Your agents of grace.
“We pray that You would be with these young girls as they come here. Help them to know and to sense the error in this decision and that they would learn to love life and to know the love that passes understanding that comes only through Your Son, Jesus Christ. We ask this in His Name. Amen.”
Afterward, Taylor reflected on what he was able to experience for one evening in the Catholic-shaped kingdom environment of Our Lady of Lourdes Church as Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Director David Tolliver allowed him to have the opportunity to represent all Missouri Baptists through his elected position as a willing and available commissioner of the Christian Life Commission.
“Even though there may be some divide on smaller issues of practice, faith, Scripture, or maybe even some elements of the Gospel, there’s a commonality here about the issue of life that I think crosses denominational boundaries,” he said. “I don’t know if I would necessarily do that with a Muslim cleric, but I think the Catholics especially are one of the few religious groups that are really closely related to us.”