'God Loves You and Your Baby': This Pastor Was Jailed for Holding a Grace-Filled Pro-Life Sign
- 2009 Walter Hoye wentto jail for standing
on a public sidewalkoutside an abortion clinic
in Oakland, California.
His crime, holding a sign that said
God loves you and yourbaby, let us help you.
The book Black And Pro Life In America
tells the story of Hoyes arrestand his time behind bars.
And Walter Hoye joins us now via Skype.
Welcome Mr. Hoye.
Thank you for being with us today.
- My goodness thank you for allowing me
to come in and share.
- Well first of all I wannatalk about what motivated you
to begin counseling andministering to women
who were going inside abortion clinics?
- Oh my goodness,
it really had to dowith the birth of my son
who was born just aboutthree months premature.
And when I was holdinghim in the palm of my hand
I literally heard God speak to me
and tell me that thisis what's supposed to be
on the inside of a woman.
My son was a little less than six months.
He was about one point nine.
And as I was literally holding him,
I could literally hear God speak to me.
And that has motivated meto go deeper and deeper
and further into the pro life movement.
- Amazing, and tell me some of the things
that you would share with the women
who were going inside the clinic.
- Well literally I wasstanding on a public sidewalk
holding a sign that saysGod loves you and your baby.
Let us help you.
And oh my goodness that happened to be
the three most askedquestions I would get.
So I would say yes God loves you.
I would say yes Godloves you and your baby.
And then she would say well if it's true
that God loves me and mybaby, will you help me.
And I said yes that's exactly what we did.
It didn't matter whethershe needed groceries,
didn't matter whether sheneeded to fix her car.
It didn't really matter what she needed.
We were going to help her and we did.
- You were eventually arrested
and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Wow, that's amazing.
Talk about that for a moment.
- Well initially I wasfacing four years in jail.
They had four different counts.
And if it wasn't for the fact that one day
I was doing some film trying to create
a training package forother members in my church.
And so I wanted them tosee this is what it's like
on the sidewalk.
And as the Lord worked it out,
those were the exact two daysthat I was having questions.
So I'm literally at court,
literally with video tape,
they can clearly see myrights are being violated
but it didn't matter.
I had to go to jail.
And so because we produced that tape,
they were dumbfounded.
And they literally reduced itfrom four years to 30 days.
- It is amazing that all you were doing
was trying to help women whowere in trouble, in need.
And you were treated like someone who had
done something so horrendous.
But while you were in jail,
you're a pastor, you'rea minister of the gospel,
you were involved inevangelistic ministry.
What happened while you were there?
- Oh my goodness,
in evangelistic ministry in my church
there are a lot of thingsthat begin to happen.
Some were against what I was doing.
Some were for what I was doing.
For the most part there wasa lack of understanding.
They didn't realize that oh my goodness
black Americans are 12,13, 14% of the population
but according to abortion industry data,
we're 28 to 35% of all theabortions in the country.
It's highly disproportionate.
And so education began totake place in my church.
- Amazing, and I understandthat you were really
ministering to people in the jail
winning them to Jesus Christ.
Talk a little bit about that.
- Oh my goodness, interesting enough
the first question they askedme was did I bring any drugs
when I first walked in to my cage.
But we had prayer atmidnight like Paul and Silas.
And I'm telling you if I had more time,
I tell you there were threemiracles that literally
took place with me in jail.
- Amazing, well the book
Black And Pro Life In America
not only tells your incredible story,
but it also highlights howyou say you've been shunned
from the black community becauseof your pro life beliefs.
And Alveda King basicallysaid the same thing.
Talk a little about beingblack and pro life in America.
- The abortion issue, the abortion debate
is the most controversialsubject in the black church.
They will talk aboutalmost anything but that.
And when you understand the four reasons
why black leadership isrejecting the pro life movement,
that's what gives youthe strength you need
to actually move forward and begin to make
strategies that are effectivein communicating the gospel.
So yeah, it's been a struggle.
But because I'm one of the club.
I'm licensed, ordained.
I understand exactly whythe brothers are saying no
to the pro life movement.
And so I use that information
to make us effective in what we do.
- Your conviction waseventually overturned.
What message do you hope that sends
not only to the abortion industry
but also to the pro life community?
- Well one, it sends the message
that free speech applies to all.
And we wanna make surethat there are pro lifers
that are out there thatrealize that they do have
the freedom of speech.
And they can literallystand on the sidewalk
and help women goinginto an abortion clinic.
Free speech applies to everybody.
But also it's a messagesent to the black church.
There are many of us that are pro life
that really understandit is absolutely wrong.
And we're gonna be speakingup and more and more
as time goes by.
- Beautiful, Walter Hoye.
Thank you so much for takingthe time to talk with us today.
We appreciate it.
- Take care. God bless you.