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Single moms, local churches learn to...

Single moms, local churches learn to Embrace Grace 

By: Courtney Ingle - January 10, 2023

Expectant moms celebrate their shower together at the Embrace Grace Baby Shower in June 2022.

Thirteen churches in the Jackson-Metro area currently host the pregnancy resources meetings.

It’s nothing new. An unwed woman gets pregnant, and society has a way of shaming her. Sure, she didn’t get pregnant alone, but nonetheless, the shame, guilt, and judgmental whispers are often pointed directly to her. 

Embrace Grace, a ministry geared toward these unwed mothers, shows both the church and the newly pregnant that grace is something to be embraced – and given – by all. 

Thirteen churches in the Jackson-Metro area currently host Embrace Grace meetings. The meetings are a bible-study style course. 

“These women are learning who they are called to be in Christ,” said Alicia Alfred, leader of Embrace Grace at Word of Life in Flowood.

Embrace Grace started as a ministry of the Texas-based Gateway Church, which has satellite campuses throughout the Lonestar State. The ministry quickly grew beyond the campuses of Gateway, with groups meeting in 47 states and 8 countries, according to the Embrace Grace 2020 Impact report.

Alfred said Embrace Grace classes have very specific goals in mind for the moms. 

“Removing shame, healing from past trauma, moving past circumstances and learning who they are in Christ,” said Alfred. “We just love on these young women.”

Embrace Grace meetings last for twelve weeks. At the end of the twelve weeks, the church group will host a free baby shower and day of pampering for the moms that completed the program. 

“New items are donated for the shower,” said Alfred. “But it’s more than just baby items. We love on these moms. We pamper them. We provide them with dresses to choose from if they don’t have their own. We hire hair and makeup specialists. We’ve had nail artists. We embrace these women and celebrate who they are and their babies.” 

Alfred said girls and women, some as young as 15 years old, have attended representing varying backgrounds and levels of support. 

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Alfred said there has been increased interest. 

“There has been an increase in interest since the Roe v. Wade decision for pregnancy centers and Embrace Grace in the Jackson Metro area,” said Alfred. “Pregnancy centers and Embrace Grace are needed now more than ever now that abortion is illegal.” 

Alfred said that with abortion no longer an option, these women need more support, but lately, she is seeing more girls with less support than before. 

“There’s not as much family support for the ladies lately,” said Alfred. “I’d say it’s about a majority with little to no financial support, and maybe 60-40 with no financial or emotional support system of any kind.” 

Embrace Grace is expanding, however, to include the fathers. Embrace Legacy, also known as Legacy, is the same program but geared toward the fathers of these expecting mothers. But in Mississippi, there’s low participation in the program. 

“There’s currently only three of the 13 churches offering Legacy,” said Alfred. “And the groups don’t have to be offered together. A church could host Embrace Legacy or Embrace Grace, or both.” 

Alfred added that Embrace Grace as an organization has its own curriculum, its own leader training, and its own resources.

“It is its own entity,” said Alfred. “Any church can do this.” 

For more information about Embrace Grace, visit

About the Author(s)
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Courtney Ingle

Courtney Ingle is a veteran journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience in print, radio, and digital media. Courtney brings her talents to bear at Magnolia Tribune to cover family-centered education and to elevate those unique aspects of Mississippi culture.