Every month for 46 months, Jayne Bray of Bowie loaded her three young children in the car and drove 12 hours to visit her husband in federal prison in New York. Whenever the children would ask why their father lived so far away, Bray would give them an answer that summed up the family's point of view: "Daddy's in jail for trying to save babies." After serving nearly four years in federal prison, Michael Donald Bray, 37, has returned home to Prince George's County. A local Lutheran minister who answers the phone with the greeting "Glory to God," Bray was convicted of conspiracy in 1985 for the night bombings of 10 health clinics that provided abortions in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District. The highly publicized attacks, which took place from January 1984 to January 1985, resulted in more than $1 million in damage and turned Bray into a reigning "prisoner of conscience" in the anti-abortion movement. "There was a lot of hero stuff," Bray said offhandedly as he sat at his kitchen table drinking coffee on a morning last week. His wife, pregnant with the couple's fourth child, sat at his side, while the children -- Elli, 8, Jonas, 6, and Epiphany, 4 -- colored pictures and read books in the next room. Bray, whom friends describe as a disciplined, self-contained man, has returned to the house-painting and ministerial jobs he worked before his arrest. While he has never admitted any involvement in the clinic bombings, it is clear that his stance on abortion is unchanged. "If abortion is murder, then efforts to rescue innocent children from the crime of abortion are not wrong," said Bray, who was released in May. "You could state simply that babies are more valuable than bricks." The clinic bombings were powerful pre-dawn explosions that damaged not only those facilities but also nearby businesses and houses. Although no one was injured, police reported that at least three persons were in the bombed buildings. On Nov. 19, 1984, a large pipe bomb hit the Metro Medical and Women's Center in Wheaton; five minutes later, two bombs exploded at another clinic in Rockville. When a blast rocked the Hillcrest Women's Surgi-Center in Southeast Washington on Jan. 1, 1985, more than 300 windows were shattered in a nearby apartment building while residents were sleeping. After the arrests of Bray and two other men, Bray contended that he had been framed, and fellow activists rushed to organize the Michael Bray Defense Fund. Later, however, some supporters said they regretted that Bray wasn't more candid about his participation; another suspect placed Bray at two of the bombings and said Bray had helped plan the other eight. While imprisoned at the medium-security Ray Brook facility near Lake Placid, N.Y., Bray maintained a low profile, he said, working in the prison library and spending time in the chapel. "There was nothing to it but to get through it," Bray said. "What I came out of prison with is how silly the whole thing is, the warehousing . . . . I was always praying they'd parole the noisy ones." Every other week, Bray mailed home a sermon he had written for his Reformation Lutheran Church in Bowie, which co-pastor Mike Colvin would deliver to the members. The church, which consists of about 12 families and meets at a Bowie middle school, helped the Brays make their mortgage payments each month. But Jayne Bray said she also was surprised at the number of letters and donations sent to the family by sympathizers from around the world. The Brays were frequently profiled in anti-abortion magazines. During his prison term, the Brays wrote to each other every day, she said. "I didn't really need to inspire him. I would write about what was happening in the church, but also where my head was at. I missed his friendship." The Brays met while they were students at a small Christian college in Denver. After Michael Bray's graduation from a theological seminary, they moved to Bowie, where Bray had grown up. He soon became involved in the abortion issue during the 1980 presidential campaign, picketing clinics, organizing rallies to push anti-abortion bills and starting a pregnancy counseling center in Bowie that still exists. While Bray was away in prison, his wife struggled under "the weight of raising the children on my own." Because they spent so much time visiting Bray in prison, she decided three years ago that it was more practical to teach the children at home. A front room in their pleasant white-brick house is equipped as a schoolroom, with wooden desks, a globe and a wall full of books. Now that their father is home, the children have enjoyed canoe trips and zoo visits with him. Bray has already delivered several sermons to his congregation, but he also is wondering what direction his life may take next. "I'm happy to be home," he said, "and I'm real thankful it's over. I couldn't always see what God's plan was in all this. But sometimes you don't know God's plan until a long time in the future. I'm curious as to what's up ahead."