History of Pregnancy Resource Center of Panama City
In 1983, four area women became concerned that their community offered no alternative to abortion. This Christian core group began researching ways in which other communities had begun crisis pregnancy centers. After traveling as far away as Ft.Lauderdale and Birmingham, they decided to join forces with the Christian Action council, which operated form the DC area in Virginia. The CAC offered the most guidelines and assistance in setting up CPS’s at that time.
The first item of business was to select a steering committee that would lease a location, secure funding and hire a director. In one year the steering committee received 501C3 status and collected enough contributions to secure a small facility on Magnolia Avenue operating under the name “The Women’s Pregnancy Center.” Mrs. Llewlee McKinney was hired as a part-time director.
The first volunteer training was attended by about twenty local women and was taught by a trainer provided by the Christian Action Council. In the years that followed our center would provide three other such trainings, all one week in duration and always taught by an official trainer from the CAC.
Since opening the center has only changed location twice. It moved from Magnolia Avenue to an office complex on 23rd Street where it remained about 8 years, and then moved to the current location on Grace Avenue. In its lifetime the center has had four directors: Llewlee McKenney, Nancy Pritchard, Denise Miller and Jackie Smithwick. Under direction of Denise Miller the name was changed to The Pregnancy Resource Center and moved to the Grace Avenue location.
The center opened as a result of the Holy Spirit touching one heart at a time, and now operates with a budget and a facility the founders could have never imagined. Although the leadership of the center has passed through many board members and volunteers, God’s mighty fingerprints are all over the ministry it provides. Hallelujah!