Pastor Imprisoned for Pro-Life Sidewalk Counseling Writes Letter from Prison

"It is Thursday, March 26th, 2009 and I am sitting on the top of the second of fifteen bunks in housing unit thirty-four east of the Santa Rita jail in Dublin, California," begins a recent letter from Oakland pastor Walter Hoye, who was sent to jail on March 23 for peacefully counseling and picketing at a local abortion facility.

Hoye was ordered to serve 30 days in county jail by Judge Stuart Hing of the Alameda Superior Court, who found him guilty of unlawfully approaching two persons entering an abortion facility in Oakland and offering information about abortion alternatives.

Judge Hing said that at first he intended to impose no fine or jail time if Rev. Hoye agreed to stay one hundred yards away from the abortion facility for three years. Rev. Hoye refused this term of probation and would not agree to the stay-away order, whereupon the judge denied the defense motion to stay the sentence pending appeal. Mr Hoye was taken into custody from the courtroom.

Rev. Hoye is an African-American pastor who says he feels a special calling to work for the end of what he calls the genocide by abortion taking place in the African-American community. As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion facility in Oakland with leaflets offering abortion alternatives and a sign reading, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help."

Rev. Hoye continues his letter from prison by directing his thoughts to the responsibility of his fellow pastors to act on behalf of the unborn: "Here my thoughts turn towards my brothers, men of the cloth, men who are called and sanctified by God the Father. Men who are preserved as the bondservants of Jesus Christ. Men who serve as the holy burden bearers of God’s word. Men who are the watchmen on the wall. It is now in the spirit of the prophet Ezekiel, I write to my fellow watchmen on the wall."

Noting the statistics on abortion of African Americans, Rev. Hoye writes: "Brothers, in Black America alone every seventy-two seconds a black baby is murdered in the womb of his or her mother. This holocaust is genocidal to the point that today a black child has less than a fifty-percent chance of being born. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, Black Americans are below the replacement level.

"In other words, death in Black America outpaces life. Abortion alone accounts for three times more deaths in our community than HIV/AIDS, Violent Crimes, Accidents, Cancer, and Heart Disease combined. There is no question pre-natal murder, abortion, is the number one issue in not only Black America, but in all of America today."

Encouraging his brother pastors to keep the scourge of abortion prevalent in the minds of their congregations, Rev. Hoye urges them to "speak regularly and boldly from our Sunday morning pulpits, from our mid-week Bible studies and from our small group meetings on the weekend against abortion."

"We must inform, educate and activate God’s people to take public stands against the sin of legalized murder in America today."

Commenting on his own work as a sidewalk counselor that led to his arrest and imprisonment, Rev. Hoye warned that the "ministry is not for the faint of heart."

"A sidewalk counselor must remain prayerful, peaceful and above all non-violent. If you cannot commit to these three requirements DO NOT become involved in sidewalk counseling.  Inherent in the ministry of sidewalk counseling is the danger of arrest and incarceration."

Link to the full text of Rev. Hoye’s letter:…

See previous LSN coverage:
Pro-Life Pastor Faces 2 Years Jail and Fine for Peaceful Sidewalk Counseling

African American Pastor Sentenced to Jail for Counselling Women on Public Sidewalk

African American Pastor Sent to Jail for Offering Abortion Alternatives on Public Sidewalk

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