VIRGINIA RALLY FOR LIFE AT STATE CAPITOL – JANUARY 13, 2011
On January 13, 2011, the frigid early morning temperatures were obliged to yield to the dedicated and determined witness to Life of the attendees at the Virginia Rally for Life. As pro-lifers flowed into the area around the Richmond Capitol Bell Tower, they were warmed by the lilting voice of Maddy Curtis from Northern Virginia accompanied by one of Virginia Beach’s top musical trios, Tim Able and his two sons, Colin and Chandler.
Their music reverberated throughout the surrounding highrise buildings, mimicking a cathedral’s acoustics. Office occupants and pedestrians from five blocks away were bathed in Maddy’s and Tim’s sweet sounds affirming the Almighty’s Amazing Grace and the patriotic strains of our National Anthem.
At 10:30 AM, the emcee for the Rally for Life, Rev. Dean Nelson, a Virginia Christian Alliance Board Member and the Director of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, addressed the crowd to introduce Pastor Joe Ellison from the Essex Village Evangelistic Church in Richmond and also a VCA Board Member, who delivered a rousing opening prayer.
Reverend Nelson then introduced Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13th District). Delegate Marshall is renowned as one of Virginia’s true warriors in the fight for the protection of unborn children.
Delegate Marshall restated the dual reason for the Rally, that is, to encourage Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to enact regulations governing the abortion facilities across Virginia and to lobby legislators for Delegate Marshall’s bill to distinguish the unborn child as a person entitled to all the rights of any other American. Delegate Marshall, with his wife Catherine at his side, punctuated the watershed importance that the Rally represented.
Rev. Nelson then proceeded to introduce a pro-life cornucopia of speakers:
- Dr. Alveda King (by audio), African American Outreach, Priests for Life
- Dr. Johnny Hunter, President, Global Life & Family Mission, National Director, LEARN, and a VCA Advisory Board Member
- David Bereit, 40 Days for Life
- Rita Dunaway, Valley Family Forum and a VCA Advisory Board Member (affirming personhood)
- Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life
- Dr. John Seeds, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology at MCV-VCU and VCA Advisory Board Member
- Andrea Pearson, Silent No More
- Tom Glessner, NIFLA
- Karen Zbinden, Concerned Women for America
- Deacon Keith Fournier, ordained Catholic lay minister and founder of Catholic Online
The crowd of about 300 was duly inspired by some of the brightest and the best of pro-life leadership in Virginia. Their wealth of talent and experience spoke convincingly to the need for immediate pro-life reforms.
With professional deftness, Rev. Nelson then drew the Rally to a close precisely at the scheduled 11:30. The precision and professionalism of the rally reflected an extraordinary degree of cooperation amongst pro-life groups across Virginia. Chief among those were Virginia Christian Alliance, Forty Days for Life, and Bob and Catherine Marshall. We also extend an enthusiastic thank-you to Mike Prunty of the American Freedom Project and Steve Waters of the Virginia Christian Alliance for their timely efforts. The pro-life warriors stand out as an example of Christian service and dedication to the fight to ensure a life for America’s unborn children.
A very special word of thanks goes to those who planned, organized, promoted and delivered a well-done Virginia for Life Rally. Hampton Roads for Life, Virginia Rally for Life planners and coordinators: Frances Bouton, Louantha Kerr, Diana Deboe, Leigh Gorski, Leroy Hardy, Pete Barker, Craig Hudgins, Diane Pyle, Marcia Hurley, Deacon Bob Durel, Cheri Britt, and Drake Hoffman.