Every year, we invite speakers to inform and inspire us as we stand up for the lives of unborn children and their families. Below is a short bio for the speakers we have lined up this year:
When Julia Holcomb was 16 years old she became the legal ward of Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith and American Idol judge. At age 17, when she was over 5 months pregnant with Tyler’s first child, she barely survived a fire that burned their apartment. While still in the hospital recovering from smoke inhalation she was coerced into a horrific saline abortion. She is the author of the memoir The Light of the World – the Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb Story, published on LifeSiteNews and credits her faith in Jesus Christ as the life line that helped her rebuild her life after her abortion trauma. She writes, “I pray that all those who have had abortions or have participated in any way in an abortion procedure may find in my story, not judgment or condemnation, but a renewed hope in God’s steadfast love, forgiveness and peace. Marriage and the family are the building blocks of all virtuous societies. I pray that our nation may find it’s way back to God’s plan by respecting the life of unborn children and strengthening the sanctity of marriage.” Julia is also an accomplished artist, having studied painting at the University of Houston and the Toronto Academy of Realist Art. She specializes in iconography, portraiture and landscape realism. Today, Julia is happily married to her husband of 30 years and together they have 7 children.
Jim and Joy Pinto
By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, Jim and Joy have lived and proclaimed the Gospel of Life for over 35 years. The truth of the Incarnation -the “infleshment” of God with us in Jesus – has made a profound impact on their lives and has led them to live in radical solidarity with the pre-born, minorities and the disenfranchised. The Pinto’s have been directly involved in many aspects of the Pro-life Movement. Currently, Joy serves as Executive Director and Jim as Director of Development at Her Choice Birmingham Women’s Center, Birmingham, Alabama. The Pintos mobilize every resource possible to encourage mothers to choose life, protect children at risk and to offer post abortion healing.
Through the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), Jim and Joy share the Gospel of Life, Marriage and Family worldwide. EWTN, the worlds largest religious media network in the world, airs the Pinto’s , Marriage and God’s Plan teachings throughout the day, making them available to over 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. The Pinto’s weekly EWTN Radio show, At Home with Jim and Joy, also extends internationally. The Pintos have served on EWTNs Media Team for the March for Life, and have Co-Hosted the Walk for Life West Coast and March for Life Canada.
The Pintos are married 37 years and are blessed with four children and 15 grandchildren. They consider their marriage and family first priority in authenticating their faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. They are effective and passionate communicators who believe that Life, Marriage and Family is God’s plan to transform the world and that He will prevail!
Rebekah Buell became pregnant for the first time at age 17, right before her senior year in high school. Supportive parents helped her to finish high school and keep her baby. Becky married the child’s father, worked, and enrolled in college. She writes:
“Everyone was so proud of me when I started college and I was sure, at last, I would not be just another statistic. I married my son’s father and were living with my parents –but before long, our marriage became very troubled. We separated not knowing that shortly after, in February of 2013, I would be pregnant again. The rule was ‘if you get pregnant again, you’re all getting kicked out.’ My world just seemed to stop right there and then. Having just defied all odds with my education and having a marriage basically over, it would mean I would have to do it alone. The fear of losing a home with my year-old son, nice neighborhood and health insurance made me decide my only option was an abortion.”
Becky took the RU-486 abortion pill. But her journey did not end there. Come to the Walk for Life and listen as Becky shares her story of moving from fear, through hope, into life. It’s a story she willingly shares with others.
“I have a special place in my heart for young women who feel abortion is their only option. It is all too easy to assume the worst but in reality, it often all works out. The family that swore they’d disown you becomes your support system, and the life you thought would be impossible with a baby becomes possible and better than ever.”
Rev. Clenard Childress
Pastor Clenard Howard Childress, Jr., a lifelong resident of Montclair, New Jersey, joined the New Calvary Baptist Church in September of 1974 under the pastorate of Dr. Shellie Sampson. In 1978, he was appointed Director of the Youth Department, to organize and educate youth. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Superintendent of the Sunday School Department and Vice-President of the Outreach Ministries.
Pastor Childress successfully completed Northern Baptist School of Religion in 1986 where he majored in Christian Education. He was ordained in 1988 by the North Jersey Shiloh Association and later installed as Senior Pastor of New Calvary in April of 1989.
In 1997, Pastor Childress, along with his wife Regina, founded the Eutychus Mission, a ministry designed to provide continued rehabilitation and assistance to recently released juvenile detention detainees back into the mainstream of society. In October of 1998, Essex County Executive James Treffinger honored Pastor Childress’ faithful and effective work at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center by installing him as a Chaplain. In November of 1998, he founded the Celebration of Life Day Care Center, which provides loving Christian care for children from infancy to 5 years of age. In August of 1999, Pastor Childress was appointed President of the Life Education And Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.) in Northeast Region. He was a chief organizer of the “Say So” March to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
In November of 2000, Pastor Childress was awarded the Community Service Award by the Montclair Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. for his dedicated work in the community. In May 2001, Pastor Childress began broadcasting “The Urban Prophet” taking the pro-life pro-family message into the urban areas. In September of 2002, Pastor Clenard H. Childress Jr. birthed the Pro-life website Blackgenocide.org. This website was designed to reach the Afro-American Community with the truth about abortion. In January 2003, Pastor Childress was appointed a member of the National Pro-Life Religious Council of Washington, DC. In March of 2003 Pastor Childress was appointed to the Board of The Center For Bio Ethical Reform. The Center for Bio Ethical Reform is a National Group that is dedicated in educating the nation and foreign countries on the rights of the unborn. In January 2004, Pastor Childress was appointed President of the Montclair African American Clergy Association (MAACA). On January 23, 2005 Pastor Childress having been recommended by his peers and approved by the Board of Scholars of the National Clergy Council of Washington Dc in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church –USA, received The Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Divinity. In March Of 2006 Rev. Clenard H. Childress authored his first book No Shepherd’s Cry. Pastor Childress and his book were featured on the 700 Club hosted by CBN’s Pat Roberson.
Pastor Childress Jr. has repeatedly been featured in World Magazine and has contributed commentary and editorials for Christianity Today, The Christian Post, Black Christian News, The Washington Times and New Jersey Star Ledger and is a regular columnist on Alan Keys Renew America.
Pastor Childress is joyously married to Regina Childress and has four children: Clenard, Thomas, Tonya and Tia.
Read more about Pastor Childress here.