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St. James to give concert benefiting pregnancy centers

Contemporary Christian artist Rebecca St. James will be in the area next week, doing a Friday evening concert in Norfolk to benefit the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater.

The Grammy Award-winning artist broke into the Christian music industry while still in her teens. Since then, she has produced numerous albums and has been involved in several feature films. She also has embraced a strong message of sexual purity and a pro-life stance through her music, movies and ministry.

Friday’s concert will benefit the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater, which provides a number of services to women, including pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, individual and group counseling, parenting classes and resources, an abortion recovery ministry and a youth educational program that encourages healthy relationships through sexual purity. The organization’s centers are located in Suffolk, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

St. James said she first got involved in supporting crisis pregnancy centers when friends in California were volunteering for a similar organization there.

“I really saw they were doing wonderful work,” she said. “They were really loving some very broken girls who didn’t know who to turn to and needed support to choose life for their babies.”

St. James prayed for an opportunity to help further the pro-life message. As a musician, she thought she might record a song emphasizing the sanctity of life.

As it turns out, however, “God had a bigger idea than I had,” she said.

St. James had the opportunity to star in the pro-life film “Sarah’s Choice,” about a young woman who finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy and has a choice to make.

“It’s just a beautiful story of the very typical women who walk into the Keim Centers here in Hampton Roads,” said LaGaye MacDowell, development director for Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater. “We really identified with the message of the movie. It was echoing the same thing we do. Help these women. Love them where they are. No judgment.”

Through her friendship with pregnancy center volunteers and the experience of the movie, St. James began doing more work to benefit pregnancy centers across America.

“It’s just a real passion of mine, and fulfilling a need,” St. James said. “I just encourage the community to really come around this wonderful, wonderful work that the pregnancy center’s doing.

Tickets to Friday’s concert, at First Baptist Church in Norfolk, will sell for $10 each. Attendees also will have the chance to partner financially with the Crisis Pregnancy Center, to learn more about its ministries or sign up to volunteer.

“The place is filling up,” MacDowell said. “Seating is limited. We want to make sure everybody gets a ticket who wants one, and hopefully open people’s hearts to what we’re doing here.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.cpcfriends.org.