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About Ability Ministry

Vision, Mission, & Story

Embracing the 
indispensABLE, becoming complete

Ability Ministry is an independent Christian nonprofit that provides resources, curriculum, training, and residential services designed to equip and empower the disability community.
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As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable . . .
1 Corinthians 12:20-22

We're on a mission to equip and empower the local church, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability community for Christ.

Ability Ministry offers consultation, curriculum, and training to help more people find a seat at Jesus' table.
169
Products Offered
720
Customers Served
19
Countries Reached
355
Articles on Disability Published
1500
Curriculum Downloads
28
Residents Served Full-Time

How We Got Started

Ability Ministry began as a provider of residential services for adults with disabilities. The goal was to help people with disabilities gain independence, even when family or caretakers could no longer provide. We're proud to continue offering residential support at locations in Missouri and Tenessee. Since then, we've significantly expanded to include producing and providing resources, training, and consulting for parents, ministry leaders, and other people like you to invite and involve the disability community in their own churches.
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It's not about "special" needs, but universal ones.

1 in 5 people worldwide and 1 in 4 people in the U.S. live with a physical or mental disability. Someone with a disability is 40% more likely not to attend church than someone without. The disability community is, literally, a global mission field.

What if every churches began treating every part of the church body as indispensable? What if we focused efforts on addressing universal needs we all have: To be safe, to make decisions and act for ourselves, to be accepted (and, yes, even to use the bathroom)? What would it look like if your church extended its reach to the 25% of your community who live with a disability—along with their friends, families, and neighbors?

In Luke 14, Jesus tells a story about the most accessible event ever. A dinner party where every person—regardless of ability, economic status, or social standing—was invited, included, and honored. That's the kind of table we want to help set. We hope you'll join us in making room, too.
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The story of Ability Ministry

  • Sam & Marjorie

    Sam Stone was the editor of the Christian Standard magazine at Standard Publishing. Sam worked next door to Mount Healthy Christian Home, where both of his parents lived. One morning, on his way to visit his parents, he ran to another resident in the hall, Marjorie Broxon. Marjorie had cerebral palsy and was in a wheelchair. She spoke slowly and with difficulty. This made her sometimes hard to understand. However, Sam knew Marjorie, and frequently stopped to chat with her. Today, they spoke for a few minutes, like usual, and he started to go on to see his parents.

    Yet as Sam turned to go, Marjorie said, “You know I like it here. There are good folks operating the home. But all of the other residents here are a lot older than me and I don’t have a chance to do many things I’m able to do and want to do. I wish our churches provided a home to help handicapped people.”

    “Well, yes, that would be nice,” Sam agreed, “but you know it would take a lot of money to build a facility like that.”

    Without hesitation she responded, “It took a lot of money to build Mount Healthy Home, too.”


  • Now The Work Begins

    The next month, at the 1981 North American Christian Convention, a group met with Sam Stone to discuss what churches who were part of the Restoration Movement should do. Their guiding question: “What are we doing as a fellowship of churches to help meet this need [to accommodate people with disabilities]?”

    Needing someone to oversee and lead this work, the group hired Dr. Jim Pierson from the East Tennessee Rehabilitation Center for Children as the first director.


  • Breaking Ground

    The Christian Church Foundation for the Handicapped (now Ability Ministry) was chartered in 1983 in the state of Kentucky. Property was purchased in Louisville, Tennessee, with one existing house on the property.


  • Welcome Home

    The first residents move into the home at Riverwood in Louisville, TN. “Riverwood II,” now housed in a newer residence, continues to serve the disability community in Tennessee to this day.


  • God's Not Finished Yet

    New Hope Christian Community opened in Versailles, MO. We were thrilled to welcome new residents to a home where they would be equipped and empowered to be who God created them to be.


  • Sam Reflects

    Before he passed away in 2021, Sam Stone, our board member emeritus, left us with these reflections: “So, what have I learned in the past 36 years. I know the government, private business and social groups help those affected by disability but the Disability Community needs more than a place to live, they need a place to be embraced. A place that will embrace them and a place to embrace others. What is that place called; it is 'The Church.' Where else should one be able to experience the kind of embrace that He who created relationship should be embraced? A place where everyone should be able to come just as they are. The problem is over 90% of churches don’t know how to embrace the Disability Community or allow this community to embrace others . . . We must give the Disability Community the chance to minister as much as being ministered to.”


  • Sam and Marjorie

    Sam Stone was the editor of the Christian Standard magazine at Standard Publishing. Sam worked next door to Mount Healthy Christian Home, where both of his parents lived. One morning, on his way to visit his parents, he ran to another resident in the hall, Marjorie Broxon. Marjorie had cerebral palsy and was in a wheelchair. She spoke slowly and with difficulty. This made her sometimes hard to understand. However, Sam knew Marjorie, and frequently stopped to chat with her. Today, they spoke for a few minutes, like usual, and he started to go on to see his parents. 

    Yet as Sam turned to go, Marjorie said, “You know I like it here. There are good folks operating the home. But all of the other residents here are a lot older than me and I don’t have a chance to do many things I’m able to do and want to do. I wish our churches provided a home to help handicapped people.”

    “Well, yes, that would be nice,” Sam agreed, “but you know it would take a lot of money to build a facility like that.”

    Without hesitation she responded, “It took a lot of money to build Mount Healthy Home, too.”
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Because Jesus' table is accessible for everyone...

We desire to see the Church make room for all people affected by disability. To fully participate. To fully partner. To fully lead.

We exist to equip and empower the 25% of the population with a disability, their families, and their churches to become who God has created them to be.
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