Psalm 139 aids East Tenn. healthcare ministry

KNOXVILLE (BP) -- An East Tennessee ministry has a new resource provided by Southern Baptists in its mission to serve the needy -- in this case, underprivileged, pregnant women.

The ERLC Psalm 139 Project's latest gift of an ultrasound machine to help needy, pregnant women is for Wallace Mobile Healthcare in Knoxville, Tenn.
Photo by Jim Servies
Wallace Mobile Healthcare, based in Knoxville, Tenn., received an ultrasound machine March 6 from the Psalm 139 Project of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The gift -- the latest made by the ERLC to centers across the country -- occurred during the morning worship service of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville.

The ERLC is "honored to work with Wallace Mobile Healthcare to provide hope for pregnant women in crisis," said Dan Darling, the ERLC's vice president for communications, after making the presentation.

"Wallace has such a wonderful legacy, inspired by the great missionary Bill Wallace, of providing Gospel hope to the most vulnerable," Darling said in a March 7 news release. "This ultrasound machine is just one more way the heroes working here every day can serve the community with a holistic, pro-life ethic."

Dan Darling, the ERLC's vice president for communications, is greeted by Mike Boyd, senior pastor of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., as he prepares to present an ultrasound machine from the Psalm 139 Project to Wallace Mobile Healthcare.
Photo by Jim Servies
Wallace Mobile Healthcare seeks to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the uninsured and underprivileged in Knox County and nearby rural communities in Appalachia through the provision of free medical services. The non-profit mission is named in memory of Bill Wallace, a Southern Baptist missionary from Knoxville who died as a prisoner of the Chinese Communists in 1951.

John Swisher, the mission's medical director, said Wallace Mobile Healthcare is "very excited to add this new tool" to its program.

"The Psalm 139 grant of an ultrasound machine is a blessing to our patients who otherwise might not seek medical care during a pregnancy," Swisher said in the ERLC release. "This instrument will help us visually share the miracle of a new life with mothers throughout our region."

In its multi-faceted ministry, Wallace Mobile Healthcare provides in-home services through volunteers to people in Knox County who have no health insurance, are unemployed or are living at or below the poverty level. It also ministers to those in local homeless shelters and to those in urban Knoxville or rural communities with limited access to healthcare. In addition, volunteers with the ministry serve in mobile clinic outreaches overseas.

Sandy Bolton, Wallace Memorial's director of mission ministries and a volunteer with the healthcare ministry, said she gets "excited thinking of the many opportunities that Wallace Mobile Healthcare will have with the ultrasound machine."

The ERLC worked with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Knox County Association of Baptists (KCAB) in coordinating the provision of the ultrasound machine to Wallace Mobile Healthcare, which is funded by donations from churches and individuals, as well as grants.

Phil Young, the KCAB's director of missions, said words "are inadequate to express the depth of thanksgiving for this gracious gift of life!"

Wallace Mobile Healthcare's "partnership with KCAB churches and with our inner-city Baptist Centers enables us to bring the whole Gospel to people in their own communities," Young told Baptist Press in written comments. "Partnering with Wallace Mobile Healthcare helps us move beyond the walls of our church buildings to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people throughout Knox County."

Previously, the ERLC has provided ultrasound machines through the Psalm 139 Project to centers based in San Marcos, Texas; New Albany, Ind.; Denver; Corinth, Miss.; Lakeland, Fla.; Phoenix; Louisiana; Houston; Woodbridge, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio.

The Psalm 139 Project's name comes from the well-known chapter in the Bible in which David testifies to God's sovereign care for him when he was an unborn child. David wrote in verse 13 of that psalm, "You knit me together in my mother's womb."

All gifts to the Psalm 139 Project go toward the purchase, delivery and installation of ultrasound machines, as well as training for staff members, since the ERLC's administrative costs are covered by the SBC's Cooperative Program. Information on the Psalm 139 Project and how to give toward providing ultrasound machines through the ministry is available at http://psalm139project.com/.

Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on... [Expand Bio] news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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