Growing in Christ is better together.

Children and adults with special needs are welcome to attend any of Ekklesia’s programs independently; we may also arrange for a buddy to help them in a class or they may join one of our dedicated classrooms.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 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!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

We are one body and each part of that body is indispensable. Accordingly, when we say that Growing in Christ together is better, we mean everyone. Our unique experiences and abilities enable us as a body to grow and impact even more individuals.

Ekklesia Shine Ministry exists to create a safe and loving environment for every level of ability to come together in worship and fellowship. We seek to equip and disciple children, students, and adults with unique abilities into a life-changing relationship with Jesus.

Why do we need a Special Needs Ministry?

More than 40,000 people under the age of 65 living in Horry County in 2014-2018 have a disability. You would have to travel 150 miles from Conway, SC to access a specialized disability ministry in a church. When we say we want to be a church where Jesus is for “all people”, we mean it in every sense.


Every Sunday at 11 AM, we offer a weekend worship service for adults and teens with developmental disabilities. Join our experienced ministry team as we share in worship, crafts, and a Bible lesson. This service takes place in the Shine Auditorium, located at the back of the Hub, which features classroom seating and sensory spaces.


We would love to have you and your family join us for a weekend service. If you’re considering a visit, please fill out the form below to assist our ministry team in providing the best experience possible. Pre-registering is not required, but it does allow us to be more fully equipped to serve you and your loved one. We look forward to seeing you soon!


We believe every child can experience Jesus in a personal way. Children of all abilities are welcome at Ekklesia. For those needing extra assistance, we provide trained Buddies. A Buddy is a friend who provides encouragement and support alongside a person with special needs or behavioral challenges. Buddies are background-checked and vetted volunteers who are here to help provide a loving environment for those with special needs. This may vary depending on individual needs and can include support in their classrooms, or for children who benefit from an adapted class with additional space for movement or a more sensory-friendly environment, we have our Shine classroom.


If you’re interested in serving with our Shine Ministry, either at our Shine Worship Service or as a Buddy, please click the link below and fill out our Serving Test Drive form. You can also connect with our Shine Ministry Director, Ryan Van Horn, by email at


Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, centered on God’s love for people with special needs ages 14 and up. Ekklesia hosts Night to Shine yearly in February, where we have a free dress and suit shop, dancing, dinner, karaoke and games, and a crowning ceremony to show each guest how special we think they truly are.

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