What is my best use? I have wrestled with this question since June 24, 2022 and the Dobbs decision that ultimately overturned Roe. When I took the role of Executive Director at HOPE back in 2015 I had a strong desire to lead a team, advocate for life, and get off of the sidelines and make an effort to see that moms, dads, and babies were given a voice and an opportunity at life. I am greatly humbled today to say that these past eight years have been far more than I could have imagined. We have witnessed HOPE grow its reach here in Knoxville, across our state, and become a leader in our country as we provide expert medical care, parenting education, and unapologetically elevate the truths of God.

It is truly hard to fathom that we have gone from Knoxville’s best kept secret to an organization that serves, trains, and speaks on the issue of life all across this country. Our reach, however, isn’t just far and wide. No, it is also local and deep as we continue to provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment, well-woman exams, parenting education, and material assistance to thousands every year. It is truly an honor to lead a team of professionals that give so much to make sure that our patients are given the care and service they so desperately need and deserve.

HOPE is in an incredible position to continue to serve and provide for this community, and I am truly grateful to have played a small part in this work and the upward trajectory of this organization up to this point. Yet, I continue to come back to the aforementioned question of what is my best use? As I have wrestled over this question with myself, my family, and my mentors I have witnessed God open doors and bring clarity. This clarity is why I am writing to you today.

I have recently been offered and subsequently accepted a position with Care Net, a national organization that works with pregnancy centers, as their Senior Executive Director of Church Engagement. I believe that our current cultural environment calls for a doubling down on our Gospel need and focus in and around the life issue. I have often discussed how the enemy is intentional in his desire to kill, steal, and destroy. If this is the case, and I believe it is, then we, as Gospel people, must be intentional in our efforts to combat him, his lies, and efforts to muddy the waters and cause chaos.

I have advocated for life from a political, a medical, and ultimately a Gospel perspective. I believe my best use today and moving forward is to use my influence, however little or much that is, and my gifts to advocate and advance this work from a Gospel lens. My new role in this work will be to connect with pregnancy centers and the Church at a national level to advance the work of the Gospel as we call for a revival in our culture that coincides with a discipleship movement in our Churches.

We need a smooth onramp for our patients to get connected to the local church. We need our patients to be discipled by Godly women. We need our patients’ significant others to be discipled by Godly men. We hold a high value on life inside of our pregnancy centers because God created life. In the same way, we hold a high value on marriage and parenthood. Our culture is good at detaching these good and Godly things from each other. The answer our patients are seeking isn’t going to be found in the culture of detachment. Instead, the answer is found in Scripture…and that Scripture is taught, discussed, and lived out in the local church.

It is my prayer that pregnancy centers across this country would have Church partners lined up seeking to assist, certainly, in material needs, but more importantly in the discipleship of men, women, and babies that are making their way to thousands of pregnancy centers every single day. Imagine, with me, ten years into the future where this onramp from the pregnancy center to the local church is flourishing with families that value God, life, marriage, and parenthood. This partnership, I believe, is the key to the trajectory shift we so desperately need in today’s society. We must not divorce, or to use the above term, detach the life issue from the Great Commandment (love your neighbor) and the Great Commission (go and make disciples.) Once we understand this we will be well positioned to serve, love, and disciple those in need.

My time at HOPE will act as an Ebenezer moment for me. This staff, our partners, and the stories of our patients will stay with me forever. This letter is difficult to write because of what and who I am leaving as I take this next step. In light of this news I will be phasing out as the Executive Director of HOPE over the next few months. HOPE’s Executive Board will continue to be in communication with you during this time as this incredible ministry steps into this next chapter.

HOPE is in an incredible place to continue to serve and grow as they make life a reality for many. I am confident in this staff and this leadership team to continue the great work that has been done for nearly three decades. HOPE is positioned well for the future in Knoxville, in the state of Tennessee, and beyond as we continue to provide expert medical care, parenting education, and material assistance to women and men in need.

Please know that I will not be leaving Tennessee and I will forever be a partner and supporter of the work being done on Painter Avenue in Knoxville. I am honored to have served with you and partnered with you to make a HOPE a reality for thousands of moms, dads, and babies in our community. I have signed off every letter I have written over the past eight years with a simple Because He Lives. I have found so many answers in this simple statement and it is in this posture that I write to you today. HOPE has a very bright future and I look forward to seeing where God leads in the coming months. This work is worth the effort! Talk to you soon!

Because He Lives,

Andrew Wood