In a well-known Bible story, Jesus instructs His disciples to “let the little children come to Me.” As churches strive to follow that example, many sometimes find it difficult to know exactly how to help children with special needs, such as autism, hearing impairment or other challenges.
Thankfully, several Baylor alums are leading the way in providing churches with resources to help them welcome these children.
“None of us met each other knowing we went to Baylor,” says Amy Fenton Lee, BBA ’94, a special needs consultant to Orange (an organization that works with churches and parents to build passion for God in children) and author of the blog The Inclusive Church. “It’s been neat to get to know each other because you have that shared background, a level of trust, so our bonding came quickly.”
Lee recently wrote the book Building A Special Needs Ministry: A Practical Guide to Including Children and Loving Families. She is far from alone among the Baylor family in addressing these issues.
- Dr. Angela Linam, BSEd ’88, is teaching an online course at Dallas Baptist University to help equip church leaders to welcome families dealing with special needs.
- In addition to teaching in Baylor’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, Janice Stewart, BSEd ’77, is the special needs coordinator for First Baptist Woodway.
- Stacy Manning Hodge, BA ’05, spent five years as minister to special needs at Hunters Glen Baptist Church in Plano before becoming church relations manager for Joni & Friends (a Christian outreach program to those with disabilities) in Dallas.
- Pamela Logan Medrano, BA ’05, is special needs coordinator for the multi-campus Hill Country Bible Church in Austin.
- Mary Lynn Boon-Smith, BA ’70, is director of the special needs ministry at Houston’s Tallowood Baptist Church.
Sic ’em, Bears, for your service to these children!
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