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Covington church’s deaf ministry marks 25 yearscomment (0)

June 17, 2010

Twenty-five years ago, Covington County’s deaf population was offered an opportunity to participate in worship services and church activities. That opportunity quickly grew into a full-scale ministry at First Baptist Church, Andalusia, in Covington Baptist Association.

On April 24–25, the ministry celebrated its silver anniversary with special activities, including a reunion.

The ministry began in 1985 after Roy and Linda Weaver moved from a Florida church where they had been interpreters for the deaf. They asked then-Pastor John Foster if they could start a deaf ministry at First, Andalusia. Foster agreed.

Interpreters translate the sermon as well as the music’s lyric. Each year, the interpreters, as well as the deaf participants, attend a conference at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega. Mary Hill, who was one of the first people to get involved in the ministry and served as its director for a 10-year stint, said it is one of the most exciting things they do together. “It is always very meaningful for us,” she said.

Pastor Fred Karthaus said, “[The deaf ministry] has been very meaningful in many ways to our church. It has opened up an opportunity for the deaf to be actively involved in our worship service and to be able to hear through sign the music and sermon that is preached.

“[The deaf ministry] has been a blessing to me as a pastor and I know to our congregation for these past 25 years.”

John Twitty currently serves as director of the ministry.

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