Peachtree Pastor: "We Will Care for Any Newborn"

Date: 2009-06-15

METRO ATLANTA, Ga. -- Last weekend an Atlanta pastor made a promise that stunned his congregation and most of the people who heard it.

In a speech that discussed abortion, the President, and the sanctity of life, the most provocative statement from Pastor Vic Pentz of Peachtree Presbyterian Church came towards sermon's end:

"I make a promise to you now and I don't want you to keep this a secret," the pastor pronounced, "the Peachtree Presbyterian Church will care for any newborn baby you bring to this church.

"We will be the family to find a home for that child, and there's no limit on this. You can tell your friends, you can tell your family, you can tell the whole world ..."

Reflected Pentz a week later, "I seem to have touched a nerve by saying that to the congregation."

It's a speech he repeated this past Sunday, and it can be found on the church's web site under the sermon title, "Ethics of Life".

Pentz says the church will partner with Bethany Christian Services, which promotes itself as "the nation's largest adoption agency" and will handle the "how" of making this happen.

But Pentz didn't mention any of this in his sermon, saying he preferred it to stand out as a "stark, dramatic statement" amidst an already-controversial speech to his congregation.

11Alive's Matt Pearl spoke with Peggy Baird, the director of adoption services for the non-profit Families First service agency. Baird watched Pentz' sermon and said that, while she admired the sentiment, he didn't delve into the legal and psychological complications that go into giving up a child for adoption.

"You can't do all of that in one sermon," Baird said, "but I think if he's going to pursue this with his congregation, he's got to do ongoing education."

Pentz says he's planning to do just that, bringing in a speaker from Bethany Christian Services to talk to the congregation this August.


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