LifeBeat board adds three new members
Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 9:14 pm
By GLENDA CAUDLE
Special Features Editor
“I am the child of an inconvenient pregnancy, carried to full-term by a generous birth mother and adopted at a week old,” says Nancy Miller Latimer, one of the three new members named to LifeBeat Pregnancy Care Center’s board of directors. “I am also an adopted child of God, the wife of Douglas Latimer and mother of six adult children, three grand‘boys’ and three furry ‘kids.’ The furry kids work as part of ‘Pets and Us’ pet therapy ministry.”
Professionally speaking, Mrs. Latimer is the principal scientist and owner of Data Mind Consulting LLC, specializing in Genomic Research, analysis and software. She has 25 years’ experience in the research community, with the last 12 in bioinformatics. Her part-time business venture helps keep her current with new discoveries while she lives geographically distant from biotech research centers.
The Latimers moved to Union City, Doug Latimer’s hometown, almost two years ago from California.
Mrs. Latimer’s interest in LifeBeat, a Tiptonville non-profit organization that began as a ministry providing an alternative to abortion for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, is a result of both her adoptions. LifeBeat is, according to its website, many things. But, first and foremost, it is Christians demonstrating and extending the love of God to women and their families who are experiencing unplanned and, often, unwanted pregnancies.
The agency offers free pregnancy testing to women who are frequently pressured emotionally and/or financially to choose abortion as a solution to their circumstances. By contrast, LifeBeat offers the loving opportunity for women to consider the humanity of their unborn children, the sanctity of human life and the compassion and forgiveness to be found in Christ.
Director Dee Keeling says LifeBeat also provides services such as confidential lay counseling, parenting classes, adoption counseling, abortion consequences discussion, post-abortion counseling and education, Bible studies, childbirth classes and an earn-while-you-learn program.
The ministry also tries to assist with practical needs, such as clothing, baby food, blankets, baby furniture and baby care products.
At a pre-Christmas fund-raising banquet for LifeBeat, Mrs. Keeling told the many supporters of the pro-life agency who were in attendance that the board of directors was prayerfully pursuing the purchase of an ultrasound and funds to train and employ personnel to use the machine.
Since that time, according to the director, “God gave us a $20,000 donation to ‘go medical’ and a doctor who has agreed to read our ultrasounds. We are praying about the rest of the training expenses and the salary (for an employee to carry out the ultrasound procedure) and we believe God will provide.”
In fact, not only has God “gifted” the ministry with funding directed toward the purchase and use of the ultrasound equipment, He has also worked through the salesman of the tool which provides in utero images of a child to open up additional potential monetary resources, according to Mrs. Keeling. And the agency has learned that the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates will help them with legal work and will train the board and the director in all legal aspects of the use of the equipment.
Mrs. Latimer notes: “The dynamic image afforded by an ultrasound connects the mom’s pregnancy to the glorious and sacred gift of procreation that we have been allowed to participate in by our Creator. It is only our limited view of the meaning of life in this broken world, and shouldering its burdens without wise counsel and physical support, that fosters the convenient and ‘politically correct’ view that paints abortion as a reasonable choice because the conditions of pregnancy do not seem optimal.”
LifeBeat, according to its newest board member, promotes a Christian world view that affirms the sanctity of human life by tending to various practical needs associated with pregnancy-related crises and follows up with parenting skill training. LifeBeat also supports educational attainment of the parents so as to foster conditions that enable the parents to care for the child in all ways. It attends to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the mother and baby and is committed to reaching all segments of society with a life-affirming message that makes abortion unnecessary and unwanted, Mrs. Latimer points out.
Board members are charged with administration, finance and policy of the center with a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His principles.
Two other new names added to the board in December are Jack Coffer of Hornbeak and Brian Funderburk of Ridgely. They join Daisy Parks, Mary Ann Holt and Linda McElyea, all of Tiptonville; Tammy Gray of Ridgely; Carey Morris of Troy; and Mrs. Keeling, who lives in Newbern, in supporting life-affirming decisions.
Coffer has lived in Obion County since 1996 and has been employed at Terry Petty Chevrolet since 1995. He is a member of Samburg Baptist Church and is captain of the Samburg-Reelfoot Volunteer Fire Department. He is married to Nola Coffer and they are the parents of Wendy Jackson, Jeremy Jackson, Nelson Northern, Jennifer Coffer and Nicholas O’Kelley.
“Through my involvement with church and volunteer fire departments, I’ve always tried to help those who can’t help themselves,” he says of his interest in LifeBeat. “I first became involved with this organization because of a pastor friend at Cottonwood Baptist Church who was a board member. I got interested in helping and worked with the baby bottle ministry (a fund-raising effort for LifeBeat in which participants received baby bottles and were asked to fill them with change and return them to the ministry). When a vacancy happened on the board, former board members recommended me. The ultrasound machine represents a personal issue for me. It will be a wonderful addition to LifeBeat because it will help us bring some focus to young women and men. I’ve always been against abortion except in the case of endangerment of life of the mother, and I think the ultrasound will help potential parents understand more about what is coming.”
Funderburk, who is the student minister at Ridgely First Baptist Church and a native of Friendship, is married to Jessica Funderburk and is the father of Brylee, 7, and Austin, 13. He is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes director for Lake County Middle School, in addition to his service on the LifeBeat board of directors.
“LifeBeat intrigues me with its ministry,” he says. “The help it offers the community through its services is so important and I felt God calling me to do my part in helping LifeBeat accomplish its mission. I believe the ability to offer ultrasound services will open new doors to help. As soon as a mom and a dad see that God has placed an actual baby in the body of the mother — that this is a baby and not bits of tissue —and that this is part of God’s plan and His gift, no matter what the circumstances, that will make a difference.”
LifeBeat receives its support from area churches and love offerings. These may be mailed to LifeBeat Pregnancy and Family Resource Center, P.O. Box 3, Tiptonville, TN 38079.
Call (731) 253-7222 for more information or to talk to a counselor.
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at glendacaudle @ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.18.11