First Baptist Church of Tempe is entering the leading edge in ministry and outreach to families of children, who have physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities. This is a dynamic ministry – constantly adapting to the varied acute and chronic needs of the participants and their families. Identifying the populations with disabilities, assessing their needs, training a cadre of volunteers, establishing sufficient room space, praying for direction, educating the attendees at FBC and preparing Christian curriculum are foundational components for this Special Needs Ministry.
As a ministry unto others, we listen genuinely to what our families have to say, becoming aware of their needs, showing respect and reverence for their family members and asking, first, “What can we do for you?” Our staff regularly attends training conferences and networks with professionals and experts in the respective fields of disability awareness and special needs are made available to our staff.
Our programs involve creating a 1:1 relationship between a child with special needs and an experienced staff person or volunteer. Inclusion into our children's Sunday School Classes at FBC is our mission. Where that is not possible, a self-contained classroom is provided at the 9:30 am and 11:00 am children's Sunday School hours for those who are not able to be mainstreamed. Every individual sets his/her own pace in participating in a program or activity. It is not enough merely to affirm the rights of those with disabilities; we must actively work to enable these persons to become integral and vital in the fabric of the church family.
God cares for children with special needs, and we do too at First Baptist Church of Tempe. This Ministry partners with parents in teaching our special needs children about God and His love. Our Buddy program and Special Needs classroom is offered every Sunday at 9:30 am and 11 am. If you are interested in knowing more about all we offer for our special children please Sharmon Steil, Children's Ministry Director.