This May marks the 40th anniversary of the Ashland Pregnancy Care Center (APCC). Since the center began in 1981 as a crisis pregnancy center, the Ashland community has sustained an outlet for women and men to visit in need of consultation for their next steps into parenthood.
Melanie Miller, president of the APCC, believes the reason they’ve been able to sustain the ministry for the last 40 years is because of the generosity of the Ashland community. This year, the theme was “celebrating miracles.”
“It's really the community that loves life and wants to see a culture of life celebrated, and so I believe that's why our community has supported us and why we've been able to sustain,” Miller said.
Travis McKenzie, vice president of APCC and pastor at Compassion Church in Ashland, has known of the center since he was a little boy in church. It’s been surreal for him to see how much the APCC has prospered in the past 40 years.
“It's really amazing to see how God works through the different leadership, through the different directors and then all the staff and the volunteers that have been through there over the last 40 years,” McKenzie said. “But [God] had the same mission—it's the same goals; the same purpose. And now, a lot of the things that were just dreams are now becoming reality; they're coming to fruition.”
The APCC is a nonprofit organization that is fully funded by the community. It does not receive government funding or federal assistance and operates by donations from individuals, businesses, the local church and community grants for special projects.
Through these donations, the APCC has grown, providing many services for women and families such as parenting support and healing support. They’ve recently expanded into Emmanuel Methodist Church with their new boutique, made modern updates to their facility and are continuously adding services.
This fall, the APCC will launch Abortion Pill Rescue which reverses chemical abortions. And in the spring of 2022, they will add STD and STI services and treatment to the center.
Both services will be free and will provide a clinic for young people in our community that need help in addressing the “sexual integrity issue” with young people, according to Miller.
“It's alarming to see the statistics in our young people, especially high school and early college,” Miller said. “And so, our heart is to empower women to understand their bodies and the way their body works, and I believe this will provide that opportunity for these young women and men. So, we're excited for what God has in store.”
As a care center built around its community, APCC has sustained a long-term commitment to the city of Ashland, thus receiving reciprocal support in response.
For five and a half years, Miller has led the ministry into becoming the best nonprofit as voted for by the Ashland community. In 2018, the APCC won the Health and Medical Services organization of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce.
Although she does not need the accolades and honor for what they do, Miller said it shows the added value of what they do for the community.
“It's so important that we remain Kingdom focused, that we're centered on Christ and all that we do,” Miller said. “We can do nothing apart from [God]. And so, I try every day to make sure that with our team, our volunteers, our staff, our board and everything we do, Christ is the foundation of that.”