Cindi Boston (’83): Pregnancy Care Center CEO
March 13, 2012
As Cindi Boston stood in the lobby of Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, on a recent Sunday morning, she watched a darling 3-year-old little girl skipping through the church, giggling and singing, her blonde curls bouncing.
“I thought she was adorable,” Boston says. “Her grandmother approached me and told me she was one of our PCC babies.”
PCC stands for Pregnancy Care Center, where Boston, a 1983 graduate of Evangel, is chief executive officer. Boston listened as the grandmother described how her granddaughter’s mother had been in a desperate situation when she was pregnant and would not have gotten through it without the help of the center.
Boston says having the opportunity to see the children she has helped save in settings like this is the most rewarding part of her work at the Pregnancy Care Center.
Pregnancy Care Center Ministry
As CEO, Boston leads an 18-person staff that works to serve thousands of young people through services such as pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, mentoring and enrichment programs, healthy relationship programs, healthy pregnancy programs, fatherhood programs, labor and birth courses, adoption resources and more. They also present healthy relationship education in local schools, equipping teens to make positive life choices.
“Our clients face the crisis of a lifetime — an unexpected pregnancy — which is often impacted by poverty, fatherless families, being underemployed, being undereducated and a host of societal challenges,” Boston says. “They need hope, pregnancy-options education and a compassionate setting in which they can make a positive pregnancy decision for themselves.”
The center has helped more than 6,100 women at risk for abortion choose life for their babies since opening in 2000 and enriched hundreds of thousands of more lives through the other programs offered. This translates to a reduced teen pregnancy rate and lower abortion rate in the Springfield area over the last 10 years. “Teen pregnancies are down more than 20 percent since we started our abstinence and relationship program,” says Boston. “Additionally, abortion is down 49 percent since PCC opened its doors.”
“When fully informed on all their pregnancy choices and when women understand their options, they usually choose to parent or place in adoption,” says Boston.
Springfield’s Pregnancy Care Center is a member of Heartbeat International. As part of this affiliation, Boston has had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to walk the halls of Congress and meet with legislators, educating them on how pregnancy care centers are good for America. She has participated in this “Hearbeat’s Babies Go to Congress” event for four years. “It has been an extraordinary experience,” she says. “Most legislators, whether prolife or prochoice, are enlightened and amazed to hear how pregnancy care centers help solve community problems with community money.”
Path to leadership
Boston’s journey to leadership has been “fraught with reluctance.” She always saw herself as a behind-the-scenes ministry helper to her youth-pastor husband. But she had a passion to see a pregnancy care center come to Springfield in the late ‘90s and was part of the first board of directors. When she was asked to be the start-up director in 1999, she prayed about the opportunity. “Despite my fears and weakness, I knew God was calling me.”
She says that her education at Evangel also helped prepare her. “Evangel equipped me with the knowledge, experience and biblical wisdom for my ministry and life.” She has relied on that education and her faith to help her through the leadership challenges of running a large organization.
Her leadership was recently recognized by Heartbeat International when she was presented with the Servant Leader Award during the organization’s 2011 annual conference. The award recognized the unique servant leadership she has provided to her community, other pregnancy care centers in the state of Missouri, to legislators at the local, state and national levels and for her leadership as chairman of the board for Alliance for Life (a coalition of pregnancy centers in Missouri).
“God equips those He calls,” she says. “He has been ever faithful to meet every need and to guide us as we provide life-saving and life-changing ministry to women and men.”