Special needs, special children: Seminar to provide training
In a Page 1 story last year, we featured the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ in Raleigh, N.C., and its ministry for children with special needs:
RALEIGH, N.C. – “People are going to heaven because of Melissa. She has been quite evangelistic.”
Tears well up in elder Ed Woodhouse’s eyes as he describes what his 18-year-old granddaughter has meant to the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ, a 450-member congregation just blocks from North Carolina State University.
Born with Smith-Magenis syndrome, a rare developmental disorder characterized by mental retardation, speech problems, sleep disruptions and hyperactivity, Melissa Woodhouse hasn’t taught the plan of salvation to anyone herself.
But 10 years ago, she inspired the creation of a ministry for children with special needs at the Brooks Avenue church.
It’s a ministry that has met a huge need in North Carolina’s capital city and led entire families to Jesus, church leaders say.
At the time of that story, Brooks Avenue church leaders expressed a desire to offer training and resources to help other congregations serve such children and their families.
The North Carolina church will make that happen in mid-September. Brooks Avenue ministry leaders will offer classes on reaching and teaching children with disabilities and their families as part of the church’s annual Mid-Atlantic Evangelism Seminar.
The seminar’s special-needs track will include four classes on Saturday, Sept. 18:
FeedbackThank you, Bobby!Kimberly Ann PylesAugust, 19 2010Bobby, a great article! Praise God.Jerry SmileyAugust, 19 2010This is a great article. Melissa Woodhouse is my cousin, and so I have seen first hand the different challenges and struggles a family with a special needs faces every day. Because of her, this ministry has been able to reach out to a whole new demographic that desperately needs support, in the Lord’s name. The Mid-Atlantic Evangelism Seminar will be no exception, and is a great opportunity for anyone to be educated on how to effectively minister to these special children and their families.
Anyone interested in registration, or just more information should visit www.midatlanticseminar.orgWill WoodhouseAugust, 19 2010Bobby,
Thanks so much for your article. Every year I go to the seminar I come away feeling blessed by the knowledge that so many people are being helped. The seminar is such a service to the churches in this region of the country and Brooks Avenue is so gracious to keep providing it for so many outside of their congregation. I think this year, with the emphasis on the challenges of real life, and especially those families with special needs children, will be the best seminar ever. The event has never been about Brooks Avenue church or even for their members as much as a wonderful service to His Kingdom throughout the Carolinas and Virginia and the others states surrounding. To His Glory it has and always will be. Thank you Brooks Avenue. – John Greenwood – elderJohn GreenwoodAugust, 19 2010Great article. I love that Brooks Avenue is leading a training seminar for other churches. I have found that many congregations are in search of ideas and help for inclusion programs inside their children’s ministry. I launched “The Inclusive Church” Blog at
http://theinclusivechurch.wordpress.com/ with this very need in mind.
Thanks for posting this article!
Amy Fenton LeeAmy Fenton LeeAugust, 26 2010
My wife Jenny works as a special education teacher assistant in a public school and she loves it. One day she asked God what was His purpose for her as she was learning more about her job; well, right away He answered by bringing to church a family with three kids with special needs. Our Hispanic members received them very well and we started right away a Special Ed. Bible Class for them. Now, my wife and Wendy (a member who graduated to teach children w/special needs) are teaching that class every Sunday, and other members are helping out. Thanks for your article as this is a real demographic growing population that we need to reach out to. -Elmer Pacheco