Priests for Life mourns the passing of Rev. Howard Creecy

ATLANTA — Dr. Alveda C. King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, today mourned the passing of the Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
“Howard will be sorely missed. He was a man of integrity and deep compassion,” said Dr. King
Rev. Creecy, 57, died Thursday, July 28, at his Atlanta home. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
He was elected to lead the SCLC in January, when Bernice King, the daughter of SCLC co-founder Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., declined the position. A third-generation preacher, he also was the senior pastor of Olivet Church in Fayette, Ga.
When he assumed the SCLC post, Rev. Creecy acknowledged that internal divisions had troubled the 54-year-old organization in recent years. His goal was to get past those divisions and move the organization forward with a clearly defined mission.
SCLC spokesman Maynard Eaton told Reuters that Rev. Creecy “saved this organization. It was on the brink of disaster. He became this organization’s lifeline with his charisma and his preacher passion.”
Dr. King was looking forward to working with Rev. Creecy to raise awareness of the devastating impact of abortion on the African-American community.
“Howard and I spoke just a few weeks ago at a women’s conference honoring both our mothers. He stopped me in the hallway and said, ‘Alveda, we should meet soon. I am with you in the fight for life.’ He went on to say that he had attended a pro-life prayer meeting with Dr. Billy Graham, and had also participated in Operation Rescue pro-life rallies.”
Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of Martin Luther King Jr., has been named interim president, the organization said.
Rev. Creecy is survived by his wife, Yolanda Grier Creecy, and two children. The funeral will be Saturday at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Dr. Alveda King Blasts Billboard “Censorship”

New York–Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the billboard in Manhattan that proclaims: “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” The billboard was taken down after pressure from local politicians and neighborhood residents.

“It is an outrageous act of censorship that this billboard was taken down,” Dr King said. “This billboard should be posted in every city of the country. And it should provoke outrage in the African-American community—not because it is racist, but because of the truth it reveals; the truth that is being kept from the African-American community.

“Black people in New York and all over the country should be outraged at the numbers of black babies we lose every single day to abortion. An astonishing 60 percent of African-American pregnancies in the five boroughs of New York City end in abortion. That’s unfathomable!

“Some people are angry about the billboard, but that anger is misplaced. We should all be upset and heartbroken that so many African-American women have bought into the lie that abortion will solve their problems. Legal abortion has been with us for 38 years, and the problems facing the African-American community have not gone away.”

Dr. King concluded: “The message of this billboard is totally accurate. The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb! It’s a travesty of justice that it is being taken down.”

Alveda King Wins Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Award

Father Frank Pavone announced today that Dr. Alveda King, full-time pastoral associate of Priests for Life and the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has been selected to receive the Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Hall of Fame Award.

The award is bestowed each year by Legatus, the organization of Catholic business professionals founded by Tom Monaghan.

Dr. King is the fifth member of the Priests for Life team to receive this award. Previous recipients are Father Pavone, national director; Janet Morana, executive director and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; Dr. Theresa Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and Jerry Horn, senior advisor for media.

“This award for Alveda recognizes the tremendous progress she is making in awakening the African-American community to the violence of abortion,” Father Pavone said. “We thank Legatus for this honor and for their longstanding friendship to us and to the entire pro-life movement.”

Dr. King said the Cardinal O’Connor Award is an “encouragement, not only for this recipient, but for all the pro-life warriors who are inspired by the legacy of Cardinal O’Connor. The award comes with marching orders: Go forward with the message of life, liberty and justice for all, born and unborn!”

For more information on Dr. King’s work with Priests for Life, visit www.africanamericanoutreach.org

For more information on Legatus, visit www.legatus.org

ProLife Recognition Awards were Bestowed Monday Morning on Capitol Hill

Two champions in the fight for life were awarded the National Pro-Life Recognition Award by the National Pro-Life Religious Council this past Monday. Naomi Barber King of Atlanta and the Rev. Stephen Broden of Dallas received the awards Monday morning at the 17th annual Prayer Service for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers, which took place in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.

Mrs. King is the widow of the Rev. A.D. King, a civil rights leader and the brother of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Pastor Broden is the founder and senior pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church. Both are crusaders in the fight against the murder of unborn African-American babies.

Mrs. King’s commitment to life began when she changed her mind about aborting her daughter, Dr. Alveda King, who is now the full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life.

“My father-in-law, Martin Luther King Sr., told me he had a vision of my child and he wanted to meet the baby girl in his vision,” Mrs. King said.

At the age of 37, Mrs. King was left a widow with five children following the untimely death of her husband, who was a prominent civil rights leader in his own right.

“God gave me the strength to do all I had to after that,” said the soft-spoken Atlanta resident.

For last week’s observance of Martin Luther King Day, Mrs. King joined her daughter, her son, the Rev. Derek King, and Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, in signing a letter calling for equal rights and human dignity for children in the womb:

“We declare today that these children too are members of the Beloved Community, that our destiny is linked with theirs, and that therefore they deserve justice, equality and protection,” the signatories wrote.

Pastor Broden is an integral member of a coalition of African-American leaders who travel from coast to coast to spread the message that the black community is a target of the abortion industry.

“The threat to our nation’s liberties is perhaps greater now than at any other time in history, with the exception of those faced by our Founding Fathers,” Pastor Broden said. “The systematic stripping away of babies’ constitutional rights in the 21st century is unconscionable and inconsistent with the laws of nature and of nature’s God..”

Pastor Broden has been actively involved in the pro-life movement since 1983 and is the chief spokesman for the African-American pro-life movement in Dallas. He is a founder of Ebony Berean, an organization whose mission includes informing African-American pastors on issues related to life, family, and political liberty. He also serves as president of the Fair Park Friendship Center, a community resource center offering assistance to area families.

An outspoken advocate in Dallas for economic opportunity, quality education and respect for life, Pastor Broden was a Republican political candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 30th congressional district of Texas in November.

He is married to Donna W. Broden, with whom he has three grown children: Jamaal, Maia and Stephenie.

“This award recognizes individuals who have given steadfast witness to the Biblical Christian teaching on the sanctity of life,” said Father Frank Pavone, president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council. “Mrs. King and Pastor Broden are more than deserving of this award.”

The Beloved Community and the Unborn

Dear Friend of Life,

In the midst of our nation’s commemorations this week of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing child-killing, three members of the family of Dr. Martin Luther King issued a statement (below) declaring that the Beloved Community includes unborn children.

Mrs. Naomi Barber King, who married Martin’s younger brother, Rev. A.D. Williams King, was joined by Dr. Alveda King (niece of Martin) and Rev. Derek King (nephew of Martin) in articulating the position that a philosophy of non-violence must oppose violence in all its forms. Therefore, it cannot ignore the violence of abortion. The work of justice and equality, by definition, means justice and equality for everyone, and therefore cannot ignore the tiniest children.

As our nation marches, preaches, and prays against abortion this weekend, Priests for Life urges clergy and all pro-life activists to echo these words of the King Family on behalf of the unborn.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

“As our nation pauses to recommit itself to fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we invite our fellow citizens to reflect on how that dream touches every human life. Dr. King taught that justice and equality need to be as wide-reaching as humanity itself. Nobody can be excluded from the Beloved Community. He taught that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

In his 1967 Christmas sermon, he pointed out the foundation of this vision: ‘The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. …Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such….And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.’

The work of building the Beloved Community is far from finished. In each age, it calls us to fight against poverty, discrimination, and violence in every form. And as human history unfolds, the forms that discrimination and violence take will evolve and change. Yet our commitment to overcome them must not change, and we must not shrink from the work of justice, no matter how unpopular it may become.

In our day, therefore, we cannot ignore the discrimination, injustice, and violence that are being inflicted on the youngest and smallest members of the human family, the children in the womb. Thousands of these children are killed every day in America by abortion, throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

We declare today that these children too are members of the Beloved Community, that our destiny is linked with theirs, and that therefore they deserve justice, equality, and protection.

And we can pursue that goal, no matter what ethnic, religious, or political affiliation we have. None of that has to change in order for us to embrace Dr. King’s affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. It simply means that in our efforts to set free the oppressed, we include the children in the womb.

We invite all people of good will to join us in the affirmation that children in the womb have equal rights and human dignity.”

Dr. Alveda King
Director, African-American Outreach, Priests for Life
Niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mrs. Naomi Barber King
Wife of the late Rev. A.D. King (brother of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Rev. Derek King
Pastor
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Congratulations to Our Two Life Prize Winners!

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, offered his congratulations today to two full-time Priests for Life associates chosen to receive the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” for 2009-2010. The $100,000 prizes are awarded annually to individuals or organizations that work to protect and preserve the sanctity of life.

The Gerard Health Foundation will present the awards on Saturday, Jan. 22, in Washington, D.C., to Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, founder and full-time director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, a ministry of Priests for Life/Gospel of Life.

“It is very gratifying to have the Foundation recognize the commitment Dr. King and Mrs. Smith share in spreading the pro-life message across the nation and the world,” Father Pavone said. “Both of them travel extensively to ensure that as many people as possible, in as many locales as possible, hear their message about the sanctity of all human life.”

Dr. King, the niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., came on board at Priests for Life in 2005. She is also a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint initiative of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life.

Dr. King is the mother of six children, and the grandmother of six, with another three on the way. Click here for her full biography: www.priestsforlife.org/staff/alvedaking.htm.

Mrs. Smith’s organization, the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (www.pncius.org) came under the Gospel of Life umbrella last year. Based in Washington, D.C., PNCI assists lawmakers and religious leaders around the world to more effectively advance pro-life laws and build sustainable pro-life leadership.

Mrs. Smith and her husband, Rep. Chris Smith, (R-N.J.) are a power couple in the pro-life movement and have been working on the cause, together and separately, since meeting in college. The Smiths have been married for 33 years and are the parents of four children and grandparents of two.

Naomi King to Receive Award

Mrs. Naomi Barber King was married to the younger brother of Martin Luther King, Jr. Among Mrs. King’s children is Dr. Alveda King, the full-time Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life who is bringing so much attention to the abortion issue within the African-American community. Naomi King has also spoken out about abortion, pointing out how staggering the statistics are, especially among Black women. She has also shared her personal testimony about how she chose life with the encouragement of her family. On the day of the March for Life, I will have the pleasure of presenting Mrs. King with the National Pro-life Recognition Award, at the morning prayer service on Capitol Hill. You are invited to this prayer service, which starts at 8am, and details of the location will be at www.priestsforlife.org/marchforlife.

Honoring Martin Luther King

Today our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for the equal dignity of every human life against the evil of segregation. “If we are to have peace on earth,” he wrote, “we must be concerned about…the sacredness of all human life. Man is a child of God, made in His image, and must be respected as such.” When we truly believe this, he continued, “we won’t kill anybody.” Many who knew Dr. King assert that if he were alive today, he would be with us in the pro-life movement. We should note that in Dr. King we honor a man who broke the law and was thrown in jail, because he was opposing a law that was unjust. It’s a good reminder, especially for those who think that no law should ever be broken.

Alveda King Says her Uncle Martin was a Social Conservative

Atlanta, GA – Dr. Alveda King, full-time Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said today that advice columns written by her uncle for Ebony magazine in 1957-58 reveal a man who today would be regarded as a social conservative.

“In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now,” said Dr. King. “He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the ‘religious right.’”

In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a “crime,” that he had made a “mistake.” He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing “to the present breakdown of the family.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God,” added Dr. King. “Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 50 million missing lives.”

Priests for Life Affiliates win Life Prizes recognition

Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, founder and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, an outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries, are among six winners of this year’s “Life Prizes” bestowed by the Gerard Health Foundation.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, congratulated the winners, who will receive the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” at a ceremony Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. King and Mrs. Smith are well-deserving of this honor, which recognizes the profound commitment they have to bringing an end to abortion throughout the world,” Father Pavone said.

Dr. King has worked with Father Pavone since 1999 and became a full-time Pastoral Associate at Priests for Life in 2005. She is also a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint initiative of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. She is the daughter of Rev. A.D. Williams King, who was the brother of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Click here for her full biography.

“This Life Prize Award comes as a very welcome surprise and a dream come true,” said Dr. King. “The desire to plant seeds for life, to be a light, a lamp for life in a dry and barren land, all of this comes true with this Life Prize Award.”

Mrs. Smith’s organization, the Parliamentary Network of Critical Issues, came under the Gospel of Life umbrella earlier this year. Based in Washington, D.C., PNCI assists lawmakers and religious leaders around the world to more effectively advance pro-life laws and build sustainable pro-life leadership.

Mrs. Smith’s pro-life activism began in college, where she also met her husband, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is widely considered to be the leading pro-life member of the House of Representatives. In her past position as International Director of Feminists for Life, Mrs. Smith advocated for the protection of women and children from the violence of abortion, internationally and at the United Nations. The Smiths are the parents of four children and grandparents of two.

“It is an honor to receive a Life Prize award for my international pro-life work and I thank the Gerard Health Foundation for this generous recognition of my pro-life work,” Mrs. Smith said. “I am grateful to Father Frank Pavone for his support and the assistance of the Gospel of Life Ministries for the vital work of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues in building pro-life leadership in capitals around the world.”

Father Pavone also congratulated the other Life Prize winners, including Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America; Jeanne Head, the United Nations Representative for the National Right to Life Educational Trust; the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, and Douglas Smith, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.

“It is a joy to collaborate with all the leaders who have been given these prizes,” Father Pavone said. “And I thank Ray Ruddy for his initiative in establishing these prizes. More philanthropists should follow his example, because more money is spent killing children in the womb than saving them, and that has to change.”