The popular online, pro-life group Stand for Life has become a new initiative of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).
The ERLC and Stand for Life announced the change Nov. 1 for a ministry that began about three years earlier with a single post on social media. Stand for Life – which seeks to promote human dignity through storytelling – has grown to more than 41,000 Facebook followers and nearly 30,000 Instagram followers.
ERLC President Russell Moore said he “couldn’t be happier about continuing the outstanding work of Stand for Life as an ERLC initiative.”
“Those serving vulnerable women in this ministry have taught the rest of us so much about what it means to stand with both conviction and kindness,” Moore said in an ERLC news release. “I look forward to what the future holds as we continue to advocate together for the dignity of all human life.”
Stand for Life began with an Aug. 6, 2015, post by its founder, Jess Barfield. The Baylor University graduate posted a photo on social media of herself holding her infant son with the word “LIFE” superimposed on the image as a filter. Soon, #StandforLIFE went viral online as thousands of people across the globe began posting photos with the LIFE filter and sharing their stories about the value of human beings.
A Dallas resident, Barfield said in the news release, “As we’ve seen over the past three years, the sharing of stories inspires change on a heart level and moves readers to value every single life. Stories truly spur on meaningful change.”
The Stand for Life team and board of directors “couldn’t be more excited for the ERLC to take this storytelling ministry to new heights in the coming days,” she said. “Please join the ERLC as they continue to share stories of life and spread the good news made possible through Christ alone.
“We are confident the mission, resources and staff at the ERLC will enable Stand For Life to further its reach, as well as point countless more toward making life-affirming decisions.”
At its website, Stand for Life says it “uses stories because they engage the heart, influence viewpoints, and cultivate what generations believe about the value of every life.”
The stories shared by Stand for Life have come from women with unplanned pregnancies, families who fostered or adopted children, couples who experienced miscarriages or infertility, parents of children with Down syndrome, families with difficult medical diagnoses, parents whose children died, victims of sexual assault, the homeless and refugees.
Dan Darling, the ERLC’s vice president for communications, said of the new partnership, “We are inspired by the creative, passionate and gospel-centered digital ministry of Stand for Life. Their ministry and messaging are in alignment with the mission of [the] ERLC, and we are eager to connect their audience with the actionable steps they can take to advocate for the most vulnerable among us.”
Stand for Life’s website may be accessed at standforlife.org.