MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Christians are expressing concern over revelations that a pastor’s wife in the Bible Belt has been working as a counselor at an Alabama abortion facility.
David Day, Sr., a Mission Service Corps (MSC) missionary with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), told Christian News Network on Friday that Callie Chatman, wife of Louis Chatman of New Elam Baptist Church in Montgomery, has worked at Reproductive Health Services for years, along with her son Jerome, who is employed as a security guard at the location. He said that he first had been informed of her employment two to three years ago when he began preaching the gospel to women outside the facility.
“I was stunned that there is actually a pastor’s wife that works there,” Day said. “I can’t image this pastor whose wife works at the clinic and his people not knowing.”
But then, he met Chatman and spoke with her.
“I’ve spoken to her one-on-one, and she tells me that women know what they’re doing—they know what [abortion] is—but she says that there’s no sin greater [than God’s forgiveness], that we’re not to judge and that God forgives,” he outlined. “It’s always the same thing: We’re not to judge and God forgives. There’s none of us without sin, is what she says.”
But Day believes that Chatman’s logic is faulty in believing that one should commit sin just because you can ask for forgiveness later.
“I love my wife. I don’t go cheat on her because she’ll forgive me,” he said.
Day said that he has advised Chatman that she should be turning women away from abortion, not simply consoling them after-the-fact.
“We told her, ‘You need to tell these women that God’s word says that you shall not kill innocent children, [and that] He hates the hands that shed innocent blood,'” he explained. “[Tell them,] ‘You shouldn’t do it.'”
Day said that he believes Chatman’s husband, a pastor, drove her to work this past Wednesday. He captured her on camera being dropped off at the abortion facility in a Mercedes Benz and later posted it to Facebook to share his concern.
“Sadly, this is a Montgomery pastor dropping off his wife who works at the abortuary,” he wrote. “Pray for her soul and the sheep of this pastor.”
But Day says that he is not only concerned that a pastor’s wife and son work at the abortion facility, but that many of the people that are coming to the facility for an abortion are professing Christians.
“We had a pastor’s son that was there, and he and his girlfriend were getting an abortion,” he recalled. “There are people who come to the clinic with crosses around their neck…”
“Everybody professes to know Christ … In Alabama, you can kick a rock and hit a church,” Day said, noting that a Gallup poll taken last year ranked Montgomery as being the second most religious city in the nation. “Being a Christian in Montgomery, Alabama is like going to the Y. They’re more ‘formal’ Christians than anything.”
He outlined that there is a difference between knowing about God and knowing God.
“These people coming to the clinic, I don’t think they really know Him,” Day stated. “If you really know God, and you have a relationship with Christ, how can you do this? How can you kill what he says is His?”
But there is yet another aspect to the picture that concerns Day: the lack of Christians in the city seeking to reach out to abortion-minded women with the gospel.
“I think of Charles Spurgeon, who said, ‘Do something. Do something. Do something.’ … We’re called to be salt and light. We’re called to defend the fatherless and weak,” he said. “We know what these people are doing is sinful, and if they die, what will happen to their soul? How different our life would be if no one told us about Christ.”
Day said that he finds it perplexing that residents can rise up against other crimes in the city, but yet be apathetic toward the plight of preborn children who are daily being torn apart limb-by-limb in the womb.
“We have a situation here in Montgomery where a man beat a dog and lit him on fire, and it made the news, and everybody wants to go lynch this guy,” he noted. “But we have a place where people can go and legally tear their baby apart—most of the time, just for convenience—and I don’t know how we can be quiet. It doesn’t make sense to me. When you know babies are being murdered and do nothing, that bothers me.”
Day advised that the abortion facility is right down the street from the governor’s mansion, and that he regularly sees Gov. Robert Bentley, a former deacon and Sunday school teacher who attends a Baptist church, pass by the location. While Bentley has been in the headlines lately over his belief that he must follow the law even if he personally disagrees, Day hopes that the governor will see the fallacy of such thinking, including when it comes to abortion.
“Governors 100-200 years ago were hanging black people, and it was legal,” Day noted. “Don’t be like that and stand by.”
But even with the few Christians that have been reaching out to women at Reproductive Health Services, Day reports that at least seven babies have been saved within the past six months—the time since he left his job to focus full time on missions work, including ministering to women at the facility.
“There are days that are wonderful,” Day said. “There are days when women change their mind. We’ve [even] had men lock themselves in their cars and cancel their credit cars so their girlfriends can’t pay for them. … We had two babies saved this past week.”
No one could be reached for comment at New Elam Baptist Church.