Promise of Life Network began in the 1980s as two separate organizations. One, Slippery Rock Crisis Pregnancy Center, located in Slippery Rock PA and the other, Habakkuk Pregnancy Resource Center, located in New Castle PA.
While we are always looking forward to see what God has for us, we know that it is also important to look back, know where we came from, and see how far God has brought us. We are blessed to build on strong foundations laid by our founders in both areas and are excited to see what God has for us in the future.
The Slippery Rock office was founded in the mid 1980’s by Mike and Kathy Bruno, a local pastor and his wife. The ministry began as a hotline and in 1987 was incorporated as Slippery Rock Crisis Pregnancy Center. Meanwhile a group of local pastors were gathering to pray for a place where young women facing unplanned pregnancies could learn about alternatives to abortion. That prayer was answered in 1989 when the Slippery Rock Crisis Pregnancy Center opened in downtown Slippery Rock. In addition to the hotline, they provided pregnancy tests, counseling, and education for local families. In 2001 the abstinence program was introduced and in 2002, the SRCPC purchased a building on Franklin Street. In late 2011, the Board of Director’s added medical services to their offerings and changed the ministry’s name to Alpha Omega Center. The newly rebranded ministry offered pregnancy tests and ultrasound scans out of their medical office on Grove City Rd in Slippery Rock, PA.
The pregnancy center in New Castle started out as an outreach of the City Rescue Mission. In 1984 the City Rescue Mission opened the doors of Bethesda Home at 449 E Washington St. Bethesda Home offered free pregnancy tests as well as short-term shelter for expectant mothers and single mothers with small children. Mothers and children were able to receive food and clothing as well as education on essential living skills such as cooking. During the 1980s and 1990s, volunteers abstinence educators offered classes in local schools to prevent unplanned pregnancies by encouraging young people to save sex for marriage.
The start of the new millennium brought a new name and location. In 2000 Habakkuk Pregnancy Resource Center separated from City Rescue Mission and, with the help of Rev. Dickson Marshall, moved into free office space on Croton Avenue. Its mission no longer included housing women but instead focused on offering free pregnancy tests and material help for families with infants.
In 2001 the ministry relocated to 35 South Jefferson Street in New Castle. It was here that the Earn While You Learn program was launched to educate families and reward them with material items for participating in parenting and child development classes. In 2005 the Habakkuk Pregnancy Resource Center moved to 321 North Jefferson Street, also in New Castle.
In 2012 Alpha Omega Center and Habakkuk Pregnancy Resource Center realized that together, with shared mission and purpose, they could do more than they could separately. The two organizations decided to merge and become two offices of Alpha Omega Center. In 2013 the New Castle office transitioned to offering the same medical services offered in Slippery Rock while continuing to offer parenting education and material help, now called “New Beginnings.” In 2015 the New Beginnings parenting program added to the services provided in Slippery Rock.
In 2013 the abstinence education programs in New Castle and Slippery Rock came together to form “LifeMatters” and the combined team instructed students on sexual integrity and healthy relationships throughout Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties.
In 2015 Alpha Omega Center began offering a post-abortive Bible study to women experiencing grief and guilt over a past abortion decision. This confidential study has allowed many women to find hope and healing in Christ, and is now part of our Step Into Hope division.
By 2016 change was again a necessity. Amidst a growing need for more client and office space and to be more accessible to the Slippery Rock University and Slippery Rock High School students, Alpha Omega Center relocated it’s Slippery Rock office to its current location on downtown Main Street.
In 2018 Alpha Omega Center and Sandy Lake Wesleyan Church joined together to start a New Beginnings resource center inside of the church. This office of New Beginnings opened in May of 2019.
At the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, LifeMatters was rebranded as Healthy Relationships Today and has expanded their reach beyond local students to students nationwide through social media and other web-based initiatives, with an increased social media presence.
In 2019, Alpha Omega Center published it’s first book Courageously Pro-Life. This material was written by our Executive Director, Sarah M. Bowen, and is designed to encourage churches to educate their congregants about the history of the pro-life movement and to understand their role in it today. Sarah M. Bowen also provides resources to pregnancy centers nationwide.
Also in 2019, Alpha Omega Center launched the national website athomeabortionfacts.com. This site was developed in response to the increase push for women facing unplanned pregnancies to order abortion pills online and take them without ever seeing a doctor or receiving education regarding their options. This website received nationwide attention from large pro-life organizations almost immediately, and has been a resource worldwide for mothers and also for other pregnancy centers.
At this time it became clear that using the same name, Alpha Omega Center, for medical services and as an umbrella name was no longer practical. To protect our most vulnerable clients and ensure they could find the services they needed with ease it was clear a change needed to be made. Our new name, Promise of Life Network, was chosen and a new logo developed. Our old name, Alpha Omega Center, would be reserved for medical services only. This split allows the ministry to grow while safeguarding families considering abortion or in need of pregnancy help.
At this time, Promise of Life Network continues to serve clients at 321 N Jefferson St, 247 S Main St with both it’s New Beginnings and Alpha Omega Center divisions, and at 3096 Sandy Lake-Grove City Rd with it’s New Beginnings division. Healthy Relationships Today is provided in person to schools in Butler, Crawford, Lawrence, Venango and Mercer Counties with educational offerings available anywhere with an internet connection. Step Into Hope is offered to any local women in need, with referrals to similar programs for women out of our area. Due to the sensitive nature of post-abortive support all Step Into Hope study locations are kept confidential. Athomeabortionfacts.com serves women nationally and internationally through the website and social media by referring abortion-minded women to pregnancy help in their community. Sarah M. Bowen’s free resources and Courageously Pro-Life material is available to any interested pregnancy center or church.
The vision of Promise of Life Network is to see a community where life is cherished from conception to natural death. Each division of Promise of Life Network has a unique approach to seeing that vision become a reality in our world.
Promise of Life Network is governed by a local Board of Directors and staffed by dedicated employees and volunteers. We continue together to work towards the same goals established by our founders: to lower the abortion rate by encouraging abstinence, help women considering abortion, make it possible for women to parent their children, and teach the culture of life to our community.