If you live in Texas, you’ve probably heard it’s known as the “bible belt” which simply means there is a church on every corner. Unfortunately, many of these churches do not have a program in place for special needs. We have been able to find three special needs churches in DFW that we hope can become a home for the spiritual needs of you and your family.
1.) Stonebriar Community Church, the First of Our Top 3 Special Needs Churches
Stonebriar Community Church has an incredible reputation for its special needs’ ministry. They call their ministry GIFT, which stands for God Is Faithful Throughout and teach their students using the teachings of the bible. Stonebriar was founded by Senior Pastor Chuck Swindoll and a small group of people in 1998 in Frisco, TX. Today, approximately 4,000 people worship here. From their website, their objectives are:
- Nurture students’ desire for a Savior and develop their faith.
- Teach students that they are created in the image of God.
- Encourage students to recognize that they have a purpose by design.
- Guide students along the winding road to independence.
- Prepare students for a fulfilling future.
On Sunday morning, they have 9 am and 10:45 am classes for special needs. You can see a description of their classes here https://www.stonebriar.org/specialneeds/. They also offer quite a few GIFT programs for special needs. These include art classes, exercise classes, and retreats for special needs. The GIFT program and the many other services the ministry has to offer are the reason this is the first of our top 3 special needs churches.
2.) Prestonwood, the second of Our Top 3 Special Needs Churches
Founded in 1997, Prestonwood calls their special needs ministry “Special Friend” that takes a focus on the entire family’s spiritual growth. Like us, they view special needs as a different ability rather than a disability. They have both a Plano and Prosper campus that support special needs individuals. Through their KIDZ ministry, their objectives are to:
- Help develop children as Christ-followers and teach them to share their faith
- Assist in developing children as worshippers
- Develop children as prayer warriors
- Teach children to make wise choices according to Scripture
- Support families with fun, creative ways to enhance each child’s spiritual journey
You can find more about their KIDZ ministry at http://prestonwood.org/connect/kidz. Moreover, they also have Respite, where they provide fun activities for children with special needs and their siblings while their parents get a much-needed break. Finally, they have a program called AWANA on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm. From their website, their AWANA program offers five different Bible Club experiences for the age levels below. Each club uses a variety of age-appropriate activities that help preschoolers and kids:
- Memorize Scripture
- Experience quality Bible teaching from master storytellers during Council Times
- Participate in high-energy, fast-paced game-time experiences in KidZone and Loft 456
- Develop an awareness of mission projects locally and overseas that encourage participation and giving
- Learn how to share their faith in Christ as Savior
- Develop important relationships with friends and caring adults
3.) Highland Park UMC, the third of Our Top 3 Special Needs Churches
Highland Park UMC, located in Dallas, offers a ministry called Belong disABILITY. Learn more by visiting their website.
Bible Studies for Special Needs Children
Above all, the Children’s Ministry provides Bible Studies that are relevant to our modern times. These studies also offer many other educational and fun activities and programs, like for example their interactive family-friendly video series. The Ministry at Prestonwood produces the videos. They are for children in grades 1 through 6. As a result, they design each video to apply biblical truths in their everyday lives and are fun to watch. Because they have so much to offer, it is easy to see why Prestonwood is one of our top 2 churches.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, the special needs churches we have listed offer valuable resources that are available to you and are committed to serving your family. Additionally, our company has had clients from all three of the special needs churches listed, and they have reported only positive experiences.
While we have done our best to provide you an insight into each of our top 3 special needs churches, we have only scratched the surface. Our goal is not to steer you in any particular direction, but to give you an insight into churches in the Dallas Fort Worth area who offer services and programs for those who have special needs or have children with special needs. Meanwhile, don’t just take our word for it, it is up to you to do a little homework and decide which of them might suit your family’s spiritual needs.
The Impact of Churches for Individuals with Special Needs
Special needs churches play a transformative role in fostering inclusivity and providing a supportive community for individuals with diverse needs. Additionally, these churches create an environment where people with special needs, and their families, feel welcomed, accepted, and understood. The impact extends beyond spiritual growth, influencing social connections, emotional well-being, and a sense of belonging. Moreover, in such congregations, adaptive programs and accessible spaces are designed to accommodate various abilities, ensuring that everyone can actively participate in religious practices. The ripple effect of these churches goes beyond their walls, promoting a broader societal shift towards greater understanding, acceptance, and integration of individuals with special needs.
Furthermore, special needs churches contribute to breaking down societal stigmas associated with disabilities. Additionally, by prioritizing inclusivity and embracing the unique strengths of individuals with special needs, these congregations are able to challenge preconceived notions and promote a more compassionate and empathetic community. Moreover, the impact extends beyond the congregation, fostering education and awareness about various disabilities, encouraging open dialogue, and dismantling barriers that individuals with special needs often face in conventional religious settings. In essence, special needs churches serve as beacons of acceptance, fostering a culture that recognizes the inherent value and dignity of every individual, regardless of their abilities.