The Next STEPP Center hosts visitors from the Baptist Minister Conference

On Feburary 20, the Baptist Ministers Conference of St. Petersburg tour Next STEPP Center to discuss the center’s programs, services, and goals

ST. PETERSBURG — The Next STEPP Center hosted members of the Baptist Ministers Conference of St. Petersburg to discuss the center’s programs, services, and goals. The conference includes more than a dozen pastors and preachers throughout Pinellas County.

The Next STEPP Center recently celebrated the nearly 30,000 lives touched and changed since its inception in 1994. Over the past three decades, the center has expanded its services to offer STI testing, limited obstetric ultrasounds, post-abortion recovery and community outreach and referrals. Next STEPP has recently partnered with Healthy Start at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to offer much-needed, no-cost women’s wellness services to improve racial disparities in health and wellness, maternal mortality and birth outcomes.

Minister Corey Givens Jr. is a member of The Baptist Ministers Conference and was recently elected Chairman of Next STEPP’s Board of Directors. He wanted to invite the clergy to visit the facility and learn more about the lives that the center has impacted.

“The church should be in the business of helping families,” Givens Jr. said. “I want these pastors and leaders to know about this miracle on 22nd Street. The goal is that they will support the center by becoming ministry advocates and advisors. We want the community to know that we provide a judgment-free safe space where people can come if they need help taking the next step.”

The meeting began with devotion, followed by a tour of the clinic. There, they learned about Next STEPP’s history from Carole Alexander, the center’s longtime CEO. They also heard stories about families that were able to adopt children because of Next STEPP.

“We do not perform or refer for abortion; however, we do offer information about all pregnancy options, including information about abortion,” said Alexander. “We are a nonprofit Christian organization offering life-affirming solutions to women, men and families facing pregnancy or parenting.”

They toured the center’s clothing closet and learned about Next STEPP’s G.O.A.L.S. (Gaining Opportunities Achieving Life Success) Program, which allows parents to ear diapers, formula, cribs, clothing and other items free of charge.

Conference members also met with families that Next STEPP is currently servicing, and they saw program counseling services being facilitated.

The tour concluded with dinner and a conversation in the center’s business suite. The conference members and Alexander discussed service statistics, the Black church, and its role in teaching abstinence and embracing a culture for life.

Rev. Lannis Thomas, senior pastor of New Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and vice president of The Baptist Ministers Conference of St. Petersburg, said, “It was an awesome experience—a real eye-opener to learn all that Next STEPP is doing. The brothers came out in full force. We are excited to support this organization.”

To learn more about the Next STEPP Center, please visit

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