Our motto is Every Life Counts. The vision of the Heart of America Memorial Wall began somewhere around the year 2002. Several pro-family groups were meeting to seek direction on something we could build together.
In this meeting of likeminded groups, Patricia Hollomon shared a vision of a place for people who have babies in heaven who were never alive outside the womb. Her vision was a beautiful garden where people could remember, reflect, and heal. We knew this was the direction that needed to be taken because the Holy Spirit touched each of us that day. None of the groups at the time could financially support such a project, so the project was tabled for a year.
During that time, Barbara Saldivar felt led to develop a ministry. It would be a nondenominational Christian organization to help those who have had abortions and needed healing. More- specifically it would be for people sitting in the pew. People of congregations that had secrets that they felt they could not share. This organization would appropriately be named Christians for Life.
After the business side of paperwork and officer election, the real work began. Bible Studies on post-abortion recovery was the main focus at first. Initially, word spread by way of mouth and newsletters.
By 2004 we had a strong board and through them their churches had become interested. Charles Rightmeier was our first treasurer. He spoke about what the Spirit was telling him—developing a special project that Christians for Life could embark. Pat Hollomon’s idea from a few years prior seemed like a good fit, and we knew that it was. We needed to build some sort of a memorial so people could have a place to remember the children they lost.
Every life does count, and Christians for Life caught the vision to build the Heart of America Memorial Wall for the Unborn, a memorialpark for those babies who passed because of miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. Remembering the innocents that have been lost can be healing to not only families, but to society as a whole.
We did not have much money in the beginning, but what we lacked in funds we made up for in passion because we knew that this is what we were meant to do. Discussion about how to proceed reached an impasse. Some wanted to look for land to build immediately, but the president suggested we should first spend some time in prayer.
After a week of prayer, Evelyn Ibrihim, who had been coming to the meetings called our director and said, “Barbara, I have land I want to donate for the memorial wall.”
So, the land was donated for the park and cleared of six hundred old tires and tons of debris. The ground was excavated so that it was level with the road. Then one granite wall was erected with engraved names added in the front and most of the back. Brick sidewalks and decorative lighting soon followed. A wrought iron fence and archway eventually framed the monument. The transformation of these grounds can be compared to the transformation in the individuals having use for such a place and in our society as we come to realize that every life does count.
Somewhere along the line, in the beginning I met Pastor Gary Roten who has taken up the vision and doing a great job. He helped all he could from the beginning but upon retirement, just when others could not, he came forward.
Our Bible studies did not happen as much for various reasons until Carmen Metzger stepped up and is getting them started again. She felt the Spirit speak to do this a couple of years ago. Went through Forgiven and Set Free.
There are many who came forward and helped through these almost 20 years besides those I mentioned here. God brought many Christian faiths together and it has been truly glorious to be part of it.