“God has placed a burden in my heart to minister to special needs individuals,” said founder Melissa Bradshaw. “Many times, special needs people feel out of place in a regular church, so the Lord placed this ministry in me to serve not only the person but the family as well.”
Services are held twice a month at the church on Highway 195 in Double Springs. There are usually between 50 and 75 attendees, and most of the activities are conducted by special needs individuals.
Although the ministry does receive community support, it has several projects at the church currently in need of financing.
Proceeds from a 5K run being held Saturday in conjunction with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Memorial Park Natatorium will benefit Northwest Alabama Special Ministries.
Several members of the ministry will be participating in a fun run/walk.
Instructors at New Life Fitness in Jasper have been helping them get in shape since Bradshaw approached gym owners Dr. Brian Cressman and Elesha Cressman about offering an exercise class for special needs clients.
Separate classes are held for males and females each week. Activities led by Randell Pickering and Joey Jacobs are designed to promote overall fitness as well as coordination.
“It has been a pleasure to have been associated with New Life Fitness, especially now that they want to have a 5K run and all the proceeds go to our church,” Bradshaw said.