I am driven to build a church with fire for hearing impaired. The idea of starting a special needs church never entered my mind. Me? Start a church? For the last seven years I have visited many churches and tried to get one to become totally hearing accessible.
A church with an FM system or a sign interpreter in the main service is not a fully hearing accessible church for hearing impaired. Every program, activity and function needs to be hearing accessible to accommodate hearing impaired.
I have been so burdened about this and yet I am getting nowhere. Then I received a phone call from a grandmother who was deeply concerned about her profoundly hard of hearing granddaughter. Where can she attend church and be accepted? Her plea inspired me and broke my heart to find a solution.
I began to weep over this situation until God spoke to me about becoming the answer to my own prayer. Create and start your own church. Who me? I realized that if we are ever going to have a total hearing accessible church, we must create it ourselves. A church that accommodates hearing impaired in every department.
My prayer to God was, “If you want me to build and start a special needs church, it must be by fire and not by the flesh.” I was shocked when those words came out of my mouth, they began to burn in my heart.
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist said, “He that comes after me…He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire.”
The word “fire” intrigued me and I wanted to know what it meant. This word fire is not some spooky or mystical word, but it is very meaningful. According to my 1909 New International Webster’s dictionary ‘fire’ has several powerful definitions:
· To stimulate, to kindle, arouse, to activate or ‘dynamize’ into action.
· It is a term of impassion, to be filled with passion or to arouse with passion, the power to stir man’s spirit.
· It is a state of excitement or enthusiasm about a project or event.
· It is a heavenly holy unction or a revival fire-like spirit that cannot be explained.
Once you hear about the new hearing accessible church it will spark a fire within you. The news will spread like wildfire. You have got to come and see this thing develop. Tell everybody you know who has a hearing loss that there is hope for them. There are 40 thousand hearing impaired people in Hamilton County. This means that every neighborhood has someone with a hearing loss.
This is what the Fire means…It is from God. Come, let us build a church with fire together. Write me if you are interested. When enough interested people sign up, I will call for a meeting for prayer and discussion. We do not have a building or site for one. Register on my special Hear Now Church mailing list.
Start a church for hearing impaired in Chattanooga?
In 2010 I pondered the thought of starting a church that is totally hearing accessible for the hearing impaired. It was my plan to start it under the leadership of another church, but it never materialized.
On Oct. 1, 2015 I received an Email from a very concerned grandmother whose granddaughter is profoundly hard of hearing. She asked me if we had a Sunday morning worship service. “My granddaughter, Katie, does not fit in well with any church. What do you recommend?” In a sad voice I declared, “There are no churches that are fully hearing accessible anywhere.”
My heart broke when I realized what was happening. Many Christian hard of hearing friends in Chattanooga who seek the same thing that I long for; a total hearing accessible church. With tears in my eyes, I asked the Lord, “Should I be the one to organize the first total hearing accessible church?”
That evening in my prayer time, I cried for more than two hours uncontrollably. I surrendered my will to God to plant a new church for the hearing impaired. My prayer to the Lord was, “If you want me to start a church; it must be by fire! It must be the work and leadership of the Holy Spirit and not mine.”
In Hamilton County there are more than 40,000 people who have mild to moderate hearing loss and could greatly benefit from a church where they worship and hear the Word of God clearly. Over 90% of these people may not attend church because they cannot hear.
The hearing impaired group is a massive mission field that can no longer be ignored or overlooked. On behalf of those Christians who are still seeking for a place to belong, let me sympathize with you: Are tired of being left out and missing most of the message you came to hear? Are you tired of being ridiculed and laughed at because we can’t hear? Are you tired of begging and asking people to repeat words? Are tired of coming to church hungry inspirit and leaving empty?
Friend of mine, I want to rise up and begin a campaign to start a special church to accommodate all people with hearing loss. It is time to initiate a new concept of a mission church designated for the hearing impaired. It must be a church that cares and understands the need to hear the Word of God clearly.
Will you join me to make this church a reality? I am asking that you to share with me your interest in this new church concept by dropping me a note. Let us plan a meeting to explore the idea this mission. In the next few weeks I will call for a special planning meeting.
By fire alone!
David M. Harrison, a caring hearing loss support specialist
Funeral Home offered FM Hearing System for Hearing Impaired Attendees
Diane McCombs was only sixty-two when cancer took her life and left Tom, her husband, profoundly hard of hearing. He is a member of the local chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America.
I dread attending funerals because I can’t hear. Hamilton Funeral Home in Hixson,TN purchased the Williams Sound FM hearing system some time ago. They became the first hearing accessible funeral home.
A large number of seniors, who have hearing loss would come to this funeral.
Two things about this funeral…
One: a number of hard of hearing will attend this funeral because of their affiliation with the Hearing Loss Association of America. Older folks, hard of hearing and related to the deceased will come.
Two: the funeral home had only three hearing units available for public use.
Knowing this, I brought my personal Williams Sound FM hearing system of twenty-four units to help the situation. In the beautiful lobby, I established a temporary hearing center for public use.
Let My People Hear is open to let vendors and churches try out the system free. The baby boomer group now coming on the scene with one out of every five hard of hearing. People with hearing loss need assistance to hear in clearly meetings. This system is in compliance with the American Disabilities Act of 1990.
The deadline for the early bird discount of $59.00 will end June 30, 2015, at midnight. REGISTER NOWThe price will be $79.00 beginning July 1, 2015. Don’t wait– seats are limited. Register now. David M. Harrison is a pioneer in the field of alternative ways of improving hearing. He will present AURAL REHABILITATION as a means of enhancing communication without medication or herbs. We care about your hearing loss and understand the struggles you have even with hearing aids. We offer strategies on how to cope with hearing loss in the home, workplace, school, hospital and house of worship.
Come away with a whole new perspective to change the way you communicate.
Register early. Seats are limited and going fast. This one day can change your hearing method forever.
The key to a holistic approach to your hearing loss “is based on the fundamental beliefs that unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer, and perceived loss of love is our greatest health risk.” (Robert S. Ivker, D.O.)
David M. Harrison, a hearing loss health care provider, will conduct a holistic workshop… Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Hearing loss affects the mind, body and soul and must be dealt with by a holistic approach called aural rehabilitation. This approach helps you adjust to your hearing loss. There are several ways this can be done:
Understand your own personal hearing loss and how it impacts your social, mental, physical and spiritual life.
Explore methods of assistive hearing technologies that can improve your communication skills.
Learn alternative listening and communication strategies.
Deal with emotional aspects of your hearing loss through peer group counseling.
Help restore relationships in marriage, family, social settings, in the workplace and church. Our goal is to reduce your frustration and isolation caused by hearing impairment
The Hearing Loss Rehab Institute will be held Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Nutrition World Wellness Center, behind NUTRITION WORLD 6201 Lee Hwy, Chattanooga, 37421. The cost is $79.00 per person. You can register by calling at 423-624-1669. Online go to: letmypeoplehear.com and click on events to register. Bring your own lunch or order a lunch on line for $10.00. Drinks and snacks provided.
Mr. Harrison is the author of “Lord You Know I Can’t Hear!” and the creator of the Magic Hearing Button method of communication. He is the founder and director of “Let My People Hear, Inc. a non-profit organization, an advocate mission for hearing accessibility in the house of worship and public venues.