I first met Carolyn in 1989.  She was a pretty young teenager who is high functioning but mentally challenged.  In 1991, her family moved to another city.  Much to my surprise, Carolyn appeared at Special Gathering in October.  During the years she was absent, her mother and sister died of cancer and she has fought the disease.  Carolyn is now in her late 30’s. 

One week, she came with a gift.  Because we were taking up gifts for Haiti, she said, “This isn’t for the Haitian children.  It is for you.  You are the only pastor I ever had.”   

Mentally challenged persons who move away can usually find a workshop or job that suits their needs.  They can find good doctors who will help to cure their ills. They can find other group homes.  The state, by hook or crook, will take care of their physical needs.  But what about their spiritual needs?  Again and again, we hear, “We could never find another Special Gathering.” 

It is because of the financial support of our local churches that this ministry exists.  There are more than 90 churches in Florida and South Carolina who make this ministry possible.  We receive support from congregations in denominations of every strip and creed.  We teach the simplicity of “Jesus loves me.  This I know for the Bible tells me so.”  Our members can understand this message and every church believes and teaches this simple doctrine.  

Years ago, Special Gathering decided that we would become a part of congregations’ budgets rather than ask for donations from individual members of a church.  This has meant that there has been a slower growth in the finances of our area programs, but this slow steady growth has meant financial stability that many parachurch ministries don’t enjoy.   Carolyn and the other 350 people who attend the eight Special Gatherings each week need the spiritual support they receive from The Special Gathering. 

Is there a method that your ministry uses that has made your ministry financially stable?  Can you share it?