Our History

In July of 1985 Chester County Women’s Services (CCWS) opened its doors to minister and serve the community of Chester County. From the beginning CCWS’s heart has been to save babies and minister to families in need. Over the last 33 years we have been blessed by growth in many areas of our ministry. Amidst all the changes our mission statement has grown with us while at the same time remaining true to the original intent:

We are a pregnancy care medical center that exists to educate and empower
individuals and their families to make life affirming choices.

1985

In the beginning of 1985, founder Barb Willsher began praying with a team of Christian business leaders and local church ministers about opening a crisis pregnancy center.

 

In July, CCWS opened its doors in Thorndale under the leadership of Barb Willsher.

1998

CCWS moves to a new building in Coatesville, specifically chosen because of its proximity of being across the street from Planned Parenthood.

2001

Debbie Davenport came to CCWS as Client Services Director in March. She launched the “Parenting Program”.

 

Karen Pennell came as Administrative Director to the center. She served for 9 years total.

2002

CCWS received a brand new ultrasound machine by an anonymous donation from the Chester County Prolife Coalition.

2003

Karen Pennell’s role morphed from Administrative Director to Executive Director.

 

CCWS saw its first client as an official medical clinic on May 13, 2003.  This change was led by Dr. Abbott and Dr. Delaney.

2006

CCWS expanded to a rental property in West Chester on Five Points Road. Karen Pennell, Cindy Bradley and Elvira Gibbs facilitated this expansion.

2007

In November, CCWS purchased the building at 27 S. Church Street. This building is just four blocks from Planned Parenthood. Church Street is a heavily trafficked road used by West Chester University students, city residents and visitors.

2009

Myriam Ruager is hired as Community Health Education Coordinator.

 

Both centers became focused on reaching the Latino and Hispanic Communities. This goal was supported by Myriam Ruager, a bilingual native of Argentina.

 

The “Parenting Program” transitioned to “The Family Movement” curriculum.

2010

Myriam Ruager was promoted to Executive Director.

2013

CCWS opened its third office in Kennett Square, PA.

Mission Preborn donated a used ultrasound machine for the Kennett Square office in November.

2015

CCWS began offering parenting classes at off-site agencies, including Kennett Square library, Coatesville Kids to College, The Bridge Academy, and The Point in Parkesburg.

2017

CCWS launched a Homeless Prevention Program.

 

In June, staff was trained in Relationships Under Construction Curriculum, an evidence based Sex Risk Avoidance Training.

 

In June, the Knights of Columbus Council 11319 donated two brand-new ultrasound machines, one for the Kennett Square center and one for the West Chester center.

2018

Beginning January 1, 2018 William Brown, D.O., a CCWS founding partner, accepted the role as Medical Director in collaboration with Radiologist, Jeffrey Hung, M.D.

 

In response to CCWS feeling that God was calling them to the front lines, the Church St. property in West Chester was sold on January 30th, and CCWS began a lease at 139 W. Market St. The new property is located just two blocks from the local abortion facility and has a prominent footprint in the community, as it is located on a busy street next to the court house and Crime Victims Center of Chester County, and has a bus stop across the street.

 

In an effort to provide more support to the families seeking help at CCWS, they created a new position and hired a part-time Family Advocate Coordinator.

CCWS is in prayer and listening for His word and direction for the ministry. We are continuing to see a great need for the services we provide and we are truly humbled by the responsibility He has trusted us with. We are waiting on the Lord to lead us in new ways in which we can be a blessing to the community in which we serve.