As Anthony Jordan recently announced his plans to retire as BGCO executive director-treasurer effective next April, my mind pondered the many things the Lord has accomplished through his life and ministry.

From Falls Creek to evangelism to preaching the Word, much can and will be said about Dr. Jordan’s power-packed ministry here in Oklahoma and beyond. In this column, I want to highlight and focus on one aspect of Dr. Jordan’s heart and ministry, namely his passion for the unborn.

For decades, Dr. Jordan has been one of the premier leaders in Oklahoma and in Southern Baptist life in loving and standing up for unborn boys and girls. He and Mrs. Jordan, having adopted two children, not only believed sincerely in the pro-life cause, but they have lived it.

Helping Oklahoma Baptists establish the first crisis pregnancy center in the 1980s, which has now turned into a flourishing network of pregnancy resources centers across this state that helps countless mothers and babies, Dr. Jordan has been on a path that believes in building lighthouses, not merely complaining about the darkness.

In the years that followed the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, in which untold millions of babies have been killed by abortion, many people have dedicated their time, talents and energy to seeing a day in which every life in the womb is safe. Dr. Jordan has been one of those people.

Unlike our Catholic friends, Southern Baptist were sometimes slow to see the urgency or express the conviction that life in the womb must be protected. Dr. Jordan was not one of those slow to see the urgency or use his voice.

In addition to establishing ministries that help women and men in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, in addition to preaching from God’s Word about the sanctity of all human life, Dr. Jordan rolled up his sleeves to get our lawmakers to see the need to pass laws that protect life in the womb. For years, this was a hard, lonely task that he and other pro-life people carried.

But thanks be to God, through strategic events like the annual Rose Day Pro-Life Rally, which still takes place inside the Oklahoma State Capitol each February, the tide of opinion began to change, and now Oklahoma is ranked as the leading pro-life state by Americans United for Life.

But there is much more work to be done. Fortunately, God is raising up new voices to join with Dr. Jordan and others who have been in this epic struggle for years. More young people, many of whom grew up seeing ultrasound photos of their siblings on refrigerator doors, are joining the pro-life fight.

If we ultimately see the day in which life is protected, from the moment of conception to natural death, it is going to take more people joining the effort and more people praying. Moreover, it is going to take all of us seeing how there are other important issues connected to the Christian belief that all people are made in the image of God, with worth and dignity (Gen. 1:27).

That means valuing people at all life stages, people of all races and backgrounds, as well as immigrants, the elderly, the poor, the infirmed, the imprisoned. After all, Jesus told us whatever we do to the least of these, we do it to Him (Matt. 25:40).

Regarding all of these issues connected to the pro-life conviction, Dr. Jordan has and will continue to be a leader. As one who stands on the shoulders of this pro-life role model and others like him, I say “Thanks be to God, and onward Christian soldiers!”