The Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic began with a committee of caring individuals who wanted to take a positive stand against abortion. This committee at first began to look into establishing a maternity home for unwed mothers. As they began to pray and research this possibility, they felt the Lord leading them in a different direction…to establish a Crisis Pregnancy Center, instead. After years of prayer and planning, our Crisis Pregnancy Center opened in August of 1988 as an outreach ministry of First Baptist Church.
From the beginning, the Crisis Pregnancy Center was a community-sponsored organization. We were (and continue to be) funded solely by churches, community groups, and individuals throughout our area. Our volunteers come from many different Christian denominations. It is truly a reflection of the body of Christ coming together to minister to those in crisis pregnancy situations helping them choose life for themselves and their preborn children.
The Crisis Pregnancy Center operated for the first seven years with a completely volunteer staff including the director’s position staffed by Janice Allen. In 1995, our center took a bold step of faith by hiring Nancy Knowlton as the part-time paid director. This position was expanded to full-time in 1997. The CPC expanded again in 2000 by adding a part-time administrative assistant position and then again in 2001 by renting additional office space in our building so we could better serve the needs of our clients and volunteers.
The expansion continued in 2002 when our Administrative Assistant, Shawn Hudson Detwiler, took on the added responsibility of becoming our Abstinence Coordinator which increased her hours to full time. This expanded our staff to two full-time employees plus over 30 volunteers. Because of the continued growth and expansion of the ministry, the Choose Life committee of First Baptist (which oversaw the center’s operation) decided to follow God’s leading and incorporated the CPC into a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization. With the complete blessing of First Baptist, that process was completed on February 12, 2003. As a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization the Crisis Pregnancy Center better reflected its true nature as a community sponsored organization.
In January of 2006, the Crisis Pregnancy Center took another bold step of faith when the Board of directors voted to take the necessary steps to convert to the medical model for pregnancy resource centers in order to provide ultrasound on site for our clients in crisis. This was very big step for us and required a great deal of change and expansion over 2006. We moved Shawn into full-time administration as our Assistant Director.
We hired a part-time Abstinence Coordinator. We also hired two part-time nurses who are under the supervision of our volunteer Medical Director, Dr. Daryl Richards. We rented additional office space for our Baby Bucks Program and completely remodeled our center.
Our Medical Conversion was completed in January of 2007 and we began offering pregnancy testing and confirmation by way of ultrasound. To reflect the new nature of our services, we changed our name to Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic. Later, in 2007 we restructured our staff. Staff positions included a Donor Relations Manager (Shawn), Abstinence Coordinator (Lisa), Client Services Manager (Judy), Client Services Assistant (Sara), and our Medical Staff (Charlotte, Carrie, and Julianne). With the exception of our full-time Executive Director (Nancy), all our staff positions are part-time.
As we continued to reveal life by way of ultrasound for our clients, we felt God leading us, again, to expand our services. In 2013, we began the necessary steps to add mobile ultrasound to our ministry services. We affiliated with Image Clear Ultrasound (ICU Mobile), purchased an ICU Mobile Unit, added additional staff and began offering mobile ultrasound in March of 2014. The additional staff included two more RNs (Tammy and Anna) and Client Advocates (Lisa and Nanci). We now have one full-time staff and 11 part-time staff positions.
God is so very faithful. With each of these expansions, God has provided the added resources to pay for them. Over these past 27 years, the budget of the CPC has grown from less than $12,000 a year to over $326,000. The CPC is in the budget of many different churches across our community, as well as community and civic organizations. Over 60% of our funding comes from individuals and businesses that have a heart for women in crisis.
It is exciting to be part of what God is doing through this vital ministry to our community and, with the continued support of His people, we look forward to being a part of what God is going to do next at the Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic.