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Every Child Belongs: Special Needs Conference
April 2, 2022@9:00 am-12:00 pm
About this event:
Disabilities can be a complex topic to discuss, but it’s essential that we engage with those who are affected by disabilities. The Special Needs Conference will equip you and your church, so both new ministry opportunities and improvements in current services are available for those who are differently abled!
If your concern is how to be more effective in outreach, what does inclusion within the church look like, or you would like to be more knowledgeable in engaging the world’s largest unreached people group, this conference will provide all of that and more!
CJ Matthews is the lead pastor of Bethany Church in Columbia, MD. CJ is married to Katie Matthews, Executive Director of The Banquet Network. Together they established a disability ministry at their church called Bethany Blessings. Through the adoption of their son and daughter, CJ has learned what it means to be born in the image of God, loved unconditionally, and how to trust God when life doesn’t make sense.
Pastor Jimmy has a passion for carefully unpacking the truths of Scripture. He has served at Cresthill Church for more than twenty-seven years. He and his wife, Margot, have two daughters, Shannon and Delaney, and a dog named Clancy. In addition to being the Senior Pastor, Jimmy loves playing guitar and serving on the Praise Team.
Katie is a mom of two, The Banquet Network’s Executive Director, the director of a special need’s ministry called Bethany Blessings, and a special needs art teacher. She is passionate about bringing the gospel to families of individuals with special needs and seeks to train other church members on how to minister to these families. Her desire is for the church to love individuals who have special needs as best we can on this side of eternity so that they would one day be able to meet Jesus face to face.
Pastor Tommy has a real heart for disability ministries as a result of his journey with disability in his family and because of the strong calling of God in his life. He knew that God called him to plant The Gathering Place Church. The Gathering Place Church is intentionally receptive to families and individuals with special needs.
In his role with Cresthill Church, Pastor Tommy has a passion for seeing people connect to the church’s discipleship ministries and grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord. He sees growth as a balance between discipleship and service ministry (know and go). He wants to help Cresthill’s members to get connected in both ways.
Allie serves as The Banquet Network’s Communications and Operations Manager. Early in her life, God made it clear to Allie that He wanted her to work with individuals who have disabilities. Allie has grown a huge heart specifically for adults affected by disabilities through her work with Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA. Prior to joining The Banquet, Allie worked as a Skill Building Specialist with adult individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Allie loves pursuing God’s beloved children and helping churches teach individuals and families affected by disability to know and experience the love of Christ.
Tom’s passion for special needs ministry was sparked by his youngest son, Jimmy (19), a young man with autism. Tom passionately serves churches in effective special needs ministries, including leading seminars and conducting training through the BCMD. He also enjoys participating in events that raise awareness for special needs causes, such as walks for autism.
Kris Buckman joined the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware as the children’s ministry and VBS consultant.
A Maryland native, she has been a member of Tri-County Baptist Church in Damascus, Maryland, for over 17 years. She has taught Sunday school for children of all ages, directed VBS, planned and coordinated special events, served as AWANA Commander, traveled with kids to summer camp, and, as she says, “cleaned up lots of glitter over the years!”