Vision, Mission, History
Gabriel Network has been helping women and children in Maryland and Washington, D.C. for more than twenty five years. We are inspired by Christ to realize a culture of life through loving service to the women and families in our communities challenged with a crisis pregnancy.
Every vulnerable mother and child is embraced in Christ’s love and the care of his people.
Gabriel Network empowers a committed network of Christian churches to accompany pregnant mothers and families in need by providing practical, emotional and spiritual support through pregnancy and beyond. It realizes this mission through three programs: a helpline, church-based ministry, and housing ministry.
The idea of Gabriel Network originated in Texas in the early 1990s when a single church community, wanting to put its social justice and pro-life convictions into action, erected a sign offering support to pregnant women. They were soon inundated with phone calls. A neighboring community “adopted” the idea and recruited a team of local Christian churches in their area, and thus the idea of a “network” was born. Taking inspiration from the angel Gabriel, it was called the “Gabriel Project.”
During the same period, Maryland pro-lifers were engaging in an effort to defeat what at the time would have been the nation’s most liberal state abortion bill. They formed the “Vote kNOw” Coalition to overturn the law by a statewide referendum. Although the law prevailed, the effort activated many pro-life volunteers to organize and do what they could to help mothers locally.
In 1993 the “Pro-Life Maryland Education Foundation” (PLMEF) was founded as a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to building support for women facing crisis pregnancies at the “grassroots” level. They choose the Gabriel Project model of church-based pregnancy support.
In 1995, following the recruiting and training of volunteers at several Christian churches, the first Maryland Gabriel Project church sign was erected, advertising a “1-800” referral line and pledging the support of a church community to women in need of help. This work became such a focus of PLMEF that in 1999, its name was officially changed to “Gabriel Project, Inc.”
In the years that followed, many other Christian churches – Baptist, Evangelical, Non-denominational, Catholic, United Methodist and others – joined the Gabriel Project by forming volunteer teams, putting signs in front of their churches, or supporting the effort financially. These teams of “Angel Friends” have served thousands of women and children in Maryland and DC and continue to do so today.
Eventually, the consistent need for stable housing for pregnant mothers drove the Gabriel Project to obtain and maintain maternity homes throughout Maryland. Beginning in 1998 and continuing to the present, Gabriel Network has operated maternity homes in Bowie, Silver Spring, Annapolis, Baltimore, Ellicott City, and Gaithersburg. Hundreds of women and children have been lovingly served through these homes in the last 20 years.
In November of 2006, the Board of Directors officially adopted the trade name “Gabriel Network” to reflect the organization’s growth and unique position in the pro-life movement.