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Transcript: Church Special Needs Prom Brings Joy

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(Voice of Ashley Parks, Christ United Methodist Church) “So tonight, this is our third annual Memphis Joy prom which is to celebrate our special needs community.”

Walker Morris: “This is my first experience going to a dance, in my whole life.”

Sam: “This particular event brings a lot of people to the church because it allows them to come and have a great time and learn about who God is.”

Ashley Parks, Christ United Methodist Church: “My name is Ashley Parks and I'm director of the special needs ministry at Christ United Methodist Church here in Memphis.”

(Voice of Ashley Parks) “Some of our participants have never, ever experienced a limo ride. They've never experienced having a dress that they could pick out that it is just for them.”

Murphy McLeary: “I got my nails done and then we picked out tiaras than we want on the red carpet. I like it when they all cheer.”

Judy & Michael Jones: “It makes me feel a celebrity. Celebrity yea. I mean we never had this done before.”

Leslie Perry: “My name is Leslie Perry and I am part of the Memphis JoyLife901 team. The special needs program here locally is not only pulling together the body of Christ at different churches, but it is also building disciples of young people.”

(Voice of Ashley Parks) “Over 850 volunteers converging on this church tonight.”

Lainey Harbill: “My mom got me involved a few years ago and I just kept wanting to do it, so I kept coming back.”

Abby Holland: “It's a good experience for us to host because it also exposes people to church life and what else you can do besides just going to Sunday morning service.”

Ashley Parks: “There's a void in a lot of our families lives because some of them stay at home because a lot of churches don't have a place for our children with disabilities and adults.”

Beth McLeary: “Our church is a lovely church but it didn't offer anything for special needs children. Our fear that we wouldn’t be accepted was just immediately put at ease. We were welcomed with open arms.”

Sam: “Every Sunday I do come to church here because God has put me here because he wants me to make a really big difference for this church.”

(Voice of Ashley Parks) “If you want to see growth in your church do something about it. Start a special needs ministry. Create an opportunity for families who are in your community that need you.”

Beth McLeary: “The parents just cannot thank you all enough. There aren’t enough words.”