Calvary Chapel Gala

CC Old Bridge Gala
CC Old Bridge Gala

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Calvary Chapel Old Bridge Boosts Its Pro-Life Ministry

Gala Features Mike Huckabee

Story by Barb Maher
Photos by Josh Larson

“That’s what being pro-life is all about,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee proclaimed of the Bridge Women’s Center (BWC), a strong and abundantly pro-life ministry of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (CCOB), NJ.

In his May 13 keynote address to more than 300 supporters and guests attending the 2nd Annual BWC Gala, Gov. Huckabee was direct in his plea for financial support of the center. “One of the things that I admire most about Bridge Women’s Center is that they not only work hard to save the life of the baby but also minister to the mom to bring her to faith in Christ, where she can find peace and forgiveness in her heart and is helped through some of the processes that occur after the baby is born.”

Bridge Women’s Center hosted the gala to build financial support for a second mobile medical unit from Save the Storks. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, BWC deployed its first mobile medical unit, named Hannah, to some of the 70 abortion clinics in the state of New Jersey, introducing women to their babies via ultrasound. In many instances, women were dissuaded from entering the abortion clinics because of the loving approach of Hannah’s staff. A second unit will enable BWC to reach more abortion-minded women throughout the state, offering free ultrasounds and pregnancy testing, insurance programs, housing, college scholarships, counseling, and opportunities to receive Jesus Christ as Savior.

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Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. … an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22, 25b, NASB 1995

Lloyd talks with woman

Pastor Lloyd Pulley of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, NJ, enjoys conversations with Gala attendees as they arrive at the venue.

Assisting in Many Ways

Last year, the lives of nearly 200 babies were saved. Debbie Biskey, BWC’s director, shared some remarkable statistics. “We meet abortion-minded women who have decided that they are going to have an abortion. We desire to show these moms truth and give them options for changing their lives. When they step inside that mobile medical unit and receive an ultrasound, they will see their baby on a 42-inch flat-screen. Amazingly, 4.3 out of 5 women who board a mobile pregnancy center and see their baby will choose life. If that father is on board, 5 out of 5 women who get on the mobile unit will choose life.”

Debbie related that as the Hannah staff shares truth, they listen to the women’s needs and fears. “We work hard to determine their individual needs, focusing in on why they are planning on having an abortion. Many times, the issue is healthcare insurance, housing, jobs and daycare. We have found a program in the state of New Jersey that provides healthcare throughout a woman’s pregnancy and delivery. Then there is the frequent need for housing—BWC partners with a national Christian organization called Bridge of Hope, which connects moms to a church where they go through a program to learn how to support themselves and their baby. We pour into these women and they learn the Word of God while being provided housing and life skills.”

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Debbie and Don talk to man

Debbie Biskey, Executive Director of Bridge Women’s Center (BWC), and Pastor Don Quiles, (right), exchange words and laughter with Sean Isaacs during the Gala. Sean is on staff at Star 99.1, a Christian radio station that broadcasts the love of Christ across the New York metropolitan area.

Along with orchestrating health care, insurance, and housing, BWC partners with Cairn University, a private Christian university in Pennsylvania, to provide full-ride scholarships and childcare for a woman who chooses life and wants to receive a college education. A joyful highlight of the gala involved the personal testimony of Aaliyyah Oglesby, whose story was featured in Issue 86 of Calvary Chapel Magazine. After sharing her story with the exuberant gala crowd, Aaliyyah was awarded a New Horizon Scholarship to attend Cairn.

Aaliyyah’s Testimony

Born and raised in Newark, NJ, where crime and generational poverty rates are high, Aaliyyah at 18 years old is the third oldest of six children and grew up in a household headed by a single mom. “I know what it’s like to struggle, but what I had experienced as a child did not prepare me for the year 2020. I was 10 weeks pregnant, feeling all kinds of emotions—confusion, anger, and sadness. I had a selfish mindset and wanted to get an abortion. There were so many factors influencing my thoughts and decision … I wasn’t in a stable home … I was too young and didn’t have a job. I was getting good grades in school and going to church every Sunday but believed I would end up as a high school dropout on government assistance. I wanted to be one of my family’s first college graduates, and I felt a baby would interfere with my goals.”

Huckabee talks to man

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the keynote speaker, interacts with Paul Errigo during a time of meet-and-greet before the ceremony. The vision of CCOB partnering with Save the Storks in pro-life ministry originally came from Paul.

Aaliyyah had made up her mind that she was going to get an abortion on March 14, 2020. “To my surprise, the world shut down on that day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had no idea what I was going to do. As the world came to a standstill, things in my world changed fast.” In a matter of weeks, Aaliyyah and her two young sisters had been relocated to her pastor’s home. “It was here, with this incredible family, with Pastor Ray and Miss Ruthie Dash (of CC-affiliate The Rock Christian Fellowship in Newark), that I was reminded of the love of God. Even when I didn’t feel strong enough, God said that He is enough: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9b). I came to realize that my sin and shame would be the thing that God would use to help me encourage others.”

Aaliyyah received an ultrasound scan from the BWC mobile medical unit where she chose life; she now has a beautiful son. She acknowledged that God used her son, Jayden, as a turning point in her life to help shape her into the woman that He wants her to be. “With God’s mercy and strength, I see a brighter future for us. I think that going to college is my best choice for helping me to succeed in life … Now I trust God to help me to do the work. I pray that Jayden grows up to love the Lord who saved his life, and I hope that when he grows up to hear his story, he will see that he was chosen for good.”

People hug

Dr. John Lundberg shares a hug with Kate Larsen, an events team member at CCOB. Dr. Lundberg, who was a speaker during the ceremony, volunteered to deliver Aaliyyah’s baby free of charge when he heard about her story from BWC.

A Ripple Effect

Resolutely pro-life, and an advocate for the unborn and the family, Gov. Huckabee offered his personal word of encouragement to the attendees. “I am mindful of the most important thing … that your presence here tonight is bringing about the continuation of a ministry that empowers a young lady like Aaliyyah and saves the lives of over hundreds of babies every year.”

He continued, “There is something else that I hope you caught in the spirit of her testimony tonight. It’s not just the babies that are being saved … it’s birth mothers … and sometimes it’s the boyfriends, fathers, mothers, grandmothers, and close friends. Just as surely as an abortion has more than one victim, the mother will often have such guilt and difficulty; even after 10, 20, 30, even 40 years, the pain is still inside. Unless the Lord Jesus brings His grace and His healing, that’s a pain that never goes away. It’s important to note that what Bridge Women’s Center is doing is saving the lives of babies and families, and we thank God for that.”

Women talk over dinner

Diane Ferraro (right) interacts with Janine Errigo (left) and Debbie Allen (center) as they enjoy pre-dinner appetizers. Diane is the CEO of Save the Storks, a nonprofit pro-life organization that supports pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in the United States.

Exhorting Churches to Active Ministry

Lloyd Pulley, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, exhorted other churches. “Churches should really think through pro-life ministry as the greatest evangelical potential in this country because there is a national conscience that has been defiled by abortion. When churches reach individuals with the Gospel—not being afraid to talk about abortion from the pulpit, along with the Gospel of forgiveness—then they can begin to equip women and men to work through the pain and acknowledge the sin of their abortion. In so doing, they become the foot soldiers needed to reach so many other people in this battle.”

Huckabee raises hand

Gov. Huckabee delivers his keynote address to more than 300 supporters and guests attending the 2nd Annual BWC Gala.


Aaliyyah speaks

Aaliyyah Oglesby receives a standing ovation as she takes the podium to speak about her experience keeping her baby and not following through with an abortion.


Aaliyyah hugs woman

Aaliyyah is ecstatic after being awarded a New Horizon Scholarship to attend Cairn University, a private Christian university in Pennsylvania.


Stuart Migdon and Ray Dash talk

Stu Migdon (left), an elder at CCOB and movie producer, speaks with Pastor Ray Dash of The Rock Christian Fellowship in Newark, NJ. Stu produced the pro-life movie “Voiceless” and is currently working on a Hollywood blockbuster based on a true story exposing Planned Parenthood.


Lloyd speaks

Pastor Lloyd Pulley exhorts attendees as he proclaims that the greatest evangelical potential in this country is pro-life ministry.


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.