The conference turnout was fantastic! Presenters, pastors, church staff and lay leaders from 34 churches made up of Catholics, Lutherans, Mormons, Church of Christ, Universalists, Baptists, Methodists, Disciples of Christ, Episcopals, and Pentecostals all under one roof!
TouchPoint Center For Autism
Greg Hoover has worked for TouchPoint Autism Services for the past nine years as a supervisor, master trainer, and assessment specialist. He is also an ordained Episcopal Priest and Rector of Shepherd of The Hills Episcopal Church in Branson. Reverend Hoover is married with 3 children. His presentation will offers a greater understanding of autism and the struggles it can create socially in public settings.
About TouchPoint Autism Services:
Although there is no known cure for autism, TouchPoint Autism Services has succeeded in providing treatment programs that promise a brighter future for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. TouchPoint offers treatments and services across the entire lifespan of individuals with autism. These services include behavior and other therapies, parent behavioral training, a transitional classroom, family support services, residential options, supported employment, and adult day habilitation services. With an organizational budget of $15 million, TouchPoint Autism Services reaches more than 2,500 families directly and more than 30,000 indirectly each year – making it the largest autism services provider in Missouri. With offices in Olivette, St. Louis City, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Columbia, and Joplin, Touch Point’s more than 475 employees treat, support, and serve individuals with autism and their families in 92 counties across the State.
Dr. Martin Mittelstadt Ph.D Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) M.Div Providence Theological Seminary (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) B. Th Central Pentecostal (Saskatoon, SK, Canada)
Dr. Mittelstadt offers a unique perspective into disability and the church that is not only educational but inspirational as well! He is the Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Evangel University. His specialization includes Luke-Acts and Pentecostal History and Theology. His work on a recent article titled "Power & Powerlessness in Pentecostal Theology: A Review Essay on Amos Yong's Theology & Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity" inspired him to begin a personal and professional journey into the theology of disability. He has authored several books and numerous articles. He and his wife Evelyn have 3 children and are active members at Evangel Temple.
Click below to download Dr. Mittelstadt's presentation:
Dr Phil Snider M. Div Phillips Theological Seminary D. Min Chicago Theological Seminary B.S. Missouri State University
Dr. Snider co-presents with Dr. Grant. He is the pastor of Brentwood Church and has co-authored "Toward A Hopeful Future: Why The Emergent Church Is Good News For Mainline Congregations." Dr. Snider has recently been named adjunct instructor for religious studies at Drury University's College of Graduate & Continuing Studies.
Children and individuals with autism can have a limited ability to grasp abstract concepts. They tend to be very "concrete" or literal thinkers, which can create challenges in teaching them about God and other important themes in the Bible. Dr. Grant offers insight into practical ways to help children with disabilities develop a better understanding of God. Parents and Sunday School teachers alike are sure to enjoy Dr. Grant's presentation.
B.A. Psychology, Missouri State University M.A. Counseling, Missouri State University Ph.D. Education, Missouri State University
Dr. Grant is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Board Certified Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. For more information on Dr. Grant and his CC Counseling Practice visit the Links & Likes page and click on his link!
Dr. Robert Grant (left w/mike) on "Branson Radio Live" hosted by Karen Berka (right w/mike) promoting the conference with Rev. Greg Hoover (right), Elizabeth Obrey (left), Annette Brandenburg (Center).
Susan Henderson Director of Burrell Autism Center & Children's Day Treatment
Susan Henderson is a licensed psychologist with specialities in autism, attachment disorders and various other mental health disorders. She has spent the last 20 years working with children and their families in a variety of settings through the Burrell Center . She has also worked in the schools through the Caring Community Program. Her presentation includes an overview of autism disorders.
Through The Roof Ministries Jonathon & Rebecca Hosack
Through The Roof Ministries offers training seminars to churches that can help equip them to effectively serve people with disabilities. Our goal is to see that all people - including those with physical, mental, emotional and medical disabilities - have a chance to know Jesus personally, to grow in their relationship with the Lord, to become a vital part of their church family, and to be empowered to serve God and others.
Dr. Marshall is a Missouri native from Sikeston, Missouri. At age 23 he became the youngest person ever to earn a Doctorate of Ministry from a Southern Baptist Seminary. He and his wife Ruth have 2 children and five grandchildren. 2nd Baptist Church has a heart for missions. As an autism Grandfather he will be sharing an encouraging call to the mission field of families dealing with autism and disability.
John E. Marshall, Jr.
John Marshall, Jr. and his wife Amanda are the proud parents of an amazing boy name Sam. John Marshall, Jr. 2nd Baptist Church is home of the Red Room, a special room designed to help support the needs of children with disabilities in church. Visit the Links & Likes page and click on their link for more information about 2nd Baptist Church ministries.