OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A Southern Baptist deacon is under fire after it was discovered that his heating and air conditioning company decided to complete a renovations project for an Oklahoma abortion facility, stating that his company believes in “finishing what they have started.”
Yarbrough & Sons is a heating and cooling business owned and operated by First Baptist Church of Blanchard deacon Darren Yarbrough. Last month, a local Christian spotted the Yarbrough & Sons truck outside of the South Wind Women’s Center and called the business to advise that the facility was going to be opening as an abortion facility.
“I’m not saying you knew,” the man says in the phone call uploaded to YouTube. “However, I am saying now that you know [you should stop working on it].”
The receptionist who took the call said that she personally could not comment on the matter, but would have the owner contact the concerned citizen. However, she refuted the man when he stated that the company is essentially “aiding and abetting child sacrifice.”
In a Facebook post dated March 23, which has since been deleted, the Yarbroughs stated that they were not aware that the South Wind Women’s Center would be opening as an abortion facility, but felt it would be breach of contract to walk away from the job.
“If we had known the women’s clinic also provided services that go against the convictions of the owners and the many men & women within the company, then we simply would not have bid the job and moved on,” son Kolby Yarbrough wrote. “Unethically breaking contract is not in our belief system as a company; We believe in finishing what we have started. Having completed roughly 80% of the work, walking off the job would go against upholding the aforementioned characteristics.”
Kolby also posted a statement on March 25 where he called those who expressed concern a “cult,” but later removed the post as well.
“For the past week, our heat and air conditioning company has been under harassment and cyberbullying from a pro-life cult. … We were 80% done with the job and started to receive polemic protests, phone calls, voicemails, comments, and reviews. Their intent is to harm our reputation and get people to boycott our company,” he said.
“My dad has been in contact with our pastor and many mentors over the last couple of days. After much thought, prayer, and mentorship we have decided to complete the job because we are contractually bound and know that a breach of contract is illegal,” Yarbrough stated. “Such actions would also be dishonoring to our code of conduct and what we believe in.”
A petition to Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Director Russell Moore was soon launched, asking Moore to look into the matter and issue a statement “condemning Southern Baptist cooperation within the abortion industry.” The petition generated over 500 signatures.
First Baptist Church Blanchard, led by Andy Finch, soon issued a statement advising that it was working to bring resolution to the conflict.
“The First Baptist Church of Blanchard’s pro-life position is well known throughout our community. We believe strongly in the sanctity of life, and we oppose abortion and any effort to expand abortion,” Finch told the Christian Post.
“Accordingly, our church leadership always counsels our members to protect and defend the sanctity of human life,” he said. “The church is continuing to work through the current situation internally, with all seriousness and prayer.”
Alan Maricle, in writing for the blog site Pulpit & Pen, says that the Yarbrough’s reasoning is invalid and that they should not have continued the work after becoming aware that the building was being renovated to open as an abortion facility.
“First of all, breach of contract is not ‘illegal.’ That’s preposterous. It’s a violation of a civil contract, in which there are civil penalties. It is not criminal to violate a contract,” Maricle said.
“Chiefly, Yarbrough entered into a contract to provide services to a facility to murder children. Rather than being bound to a civil contract upon which there may be financial penalties, Yarbrough’s heart should be bound by conscience and the Word of God,” he stated, opining that it would be better to receive man’s consequences for breaching the contract than face God’s consequences for helping those that murder children.
“Yarbrough’s ‘code of conduct’ involves not engaging in what they call elsewhere ‘regressive business practices’ (IE losing money), but their code of conduct apparently does not include not helping infants have their brains sucked out of their mother’s womb,” Maricle wrote. “This is precisely why Yarbrough should be called to repentance by his church, and should he continue in his work, be forbidden from the Lord’s Table lest he drink damnation upon himself and be treated like a gentile and tax collector.”