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Wilkerson, Sandy comment (0)

March 4, 2004

Church: Gateway Baptist Church, Montgomery

Favorite Bible verse: Jeremiah 29:11

Favorite hymn: “Because He Lives” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

Hobbies: Reading or writing on spiritual subjects; swim therapy

Family status: Single

Sandy Wilkerson is someone you should know. Formerly the Baptist campus minister at Judson College and Auburn University at Montgomery, she developed multiple sclerosis and had to discontinue serving in formal ministry positions when her attacks worsened. Yet she still reaches out to others with disabilities and communicates to churches the needs of people with disabilities.

Q: What led you into this ministry?

A: Having multiple sclerosis myself for more than 25 years, experiencing years of various treatment options and their side effects, functional losses (mental, physical and emotional) dealing with the struggles, frustrations and unpredictability of this often-invisible disease.

Q: What does this ministry demand?

A: Making time to counsel others, keeping up with research breakthroughs, energy (dealing with intense deep fatigue is a part of MS) and interaction with people which can be very draining, even with phone calls.

Q: What do you get from serving in this ministry?

A: Satisfaction of knowing I have offered insight and inspiration and helping persons with disabilities know they’re not alone, that there’s hope; encouraging them to get on one of the three or four treatment options to slow the progress of the disease.

Q: How do you see yourself involved in this in the future?

A: I dream of a broader scope of writing to challenge and encourage those with disabilities and their caretakers and churches seeking to reach and minister to this large segment of the population, often an unreached people group. I would like to develop a module that could be used as a prototype to train laypeople to provide a balanced ministry that meets the felt needs (whether physical, mental or spiritual) of those who are disabled, shut-in or elderly.

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