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
Drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org