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In this episode of Hope Heroes, we highlight the extraordinary work of Dream City Church’s Compassion Ministry, led by pastors Don Henning and Skip Gilliam. These two dedicated ministers spearhead the special needs ministry at Dream City Church, catering to the physically and mentally challenged members of our community.

What is the “Compassion Ministry” at Dream City Church?

For over three decades, Don and his wife Sharon, and later Skip, along with their team, have been providing invaluable support and care to those often overlooked by society – people with special needs. Their ministry goes beyond the walls of the church, reaching out to individuals in group homes across Phoenix, ensuring they have the opportunity to experience the love and acceptance of a church community.


One of the pivotal ministries at Dream City Church, our Compassion Ministry originated from humble beginnings. It all began with Don and his wife, who were driven by a desire to serve. As newcomers to the church, they were captivated by Pastor Tommy’s teachings and quickly felt drawn to become more deeply involved. They plugged into the special needs ministry and began bringing special needs people to church. 

What services does the Compassion Ministry provide for the community?


What sets Dream City Church’s special needs ministry apart is its commitment to including those who are often outcasts and offering genuine care. They don’t just provide transportation to church; they organize outings, creating memorable experiences cherished by all involved.


Every week, the ministry team visits individuals in group homes across Phoenix. Acting as their pastors, they ensure these individuals are cared for year-round, even initiating events like the first dance at Dream City Church. With seven buses at their disposal, they facilitate access to church services and other activities that these individuals might not otherwise be able to participate in. Camp is a cherished highlight, with camp shirts proudly worn week after week throughout the year. These efforts ensure that those they serve feel valued, included, and able to fully engage in church community life.

Why are special needs people so forgotten?


Often overlooked, individuals with special needs are sidelined and perceived as having little to offer. However, the truth is far different: they possess immense potential to enrich the lives of others if given the chance. The ministry team advocates for a shift in perspective, urging us to reject categorizing and isolating individuals with special needs.


But the heart of their ministry lies in their profound impact on the lives of those they serve. Don and Skip recognize the inherent worth and value of every individual, regardless of their abilities. They refuse to let anyone feel forgotten or marginalized, striving to integrate special needs individuals into every aspect of church life.


The Compassion Ministry at Dream City Church is a testament to the transformative power of love and empathy. It’s about seeing a need and responding with action, embodying the very essence of Christian faith. For Don, Skip, and their team, compassion means recognizing God’s call to care for His people, especially those that society often overlooks.

How Can You Help?


At Dream City Church, special needs individuals are not just members but valued, cherished, and integral parts of the community. If you’re inspired by the work of Dream City Church’s Compassion Ministry and would like to get involved or know someone who could benefit from their support, reach out to us today or visit our website at Dreamy City Church.

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