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An introduction to the ministries of

The Special Gathering

A ministry within the mentally challenged community.

Rev. Richard Stimson
P.O. Box 685, Cocoa, FL 32923
(321) 252-9391

The Special Gathering in ...
North Brevard County, Florida
Cocoa   --   Titusville
South Brevard & Vero Beach
Melbourne & Vero Beach
Volusia County, Florida
Daytona   --   DeLand
Walterboro, South Carolina

Unmasking The Culture of The Mentally Challenged Community
Links to some of our friends
Special Gathering BLOG
Articles About Us
How we develop our sermons
9 YouTube videos
IRC, Titusville Choir - YouTube

The Titusville Chapel
The Titusville Chapel
The Cocoa Chapel
The Cocoa Chapel

Camp Agape

View a day at Camp Agape

The heart of our ministries is our chapel program.
A chapel service is defined as a religious service which is subordinate to the local church. The Special Gathering Chapel Services are religious services for the mentally challenged community sponsored by local churches. For many of our members, this is in addition to their involvement in their own churches. For many of our members this becomes their church. Including all chapels, between 350 to 400 people worship weekly in a service designed for them. They also attend one of 21 instructional classes which are designed for their particular needs.

Richard & Nancy Stimson and those we serve.
Click on a small picture to see the enlargements.

Richard Stimson Richard and Nancy Stimson Nancy Stimson Those we serve.

But there is more:


  • We help mentally challenged persons and their families advocate for themselves.
  • We serve as a third party advocate for our members.
  • We advocate for a Christian view on disability issues.
  • We help our members and their families know what options they have available to them.


  • Camp Agape is our annual camp in Vero Beach for mentally challenged persons.
  • We conduct field trips to local attractions and theme parks.
  • We plan and have socials where we come together to eat and fellowship.

Ministry Teams

  • We have three choirs who sing at local chapels, churches and civic groups.
  • We have a trio which sings at local gatherings.
  • We do Christmas play productions at four locations annually
  • We train local members to speak, lead in worship, usher, pray and to perform other functions in a local chapel or church.


  • We sponsor an annual conference for those in disability ministry.
  • We publish a quarterly newsletter for those in disability ministry.
  • We consult with those people who are starting disability ministries.
  • We have a manual on starting a disability ministry.


  • We conduct Disability Simulation Workshops in local churches.
  • We have a Speaker's Bureau where we speak at local churches, schools and civic groups.
  • Our choir sings and shares on many different occasions.


  • We publish Connecting Point, a newsletter written for and by mentally challenged persons.
  • We have had articles published about us and written by us in such publications as Christianity Today, Presbyterian Survey, United Methodist Reporter, Pentecostal Evangel and Charisma.

Special Gatherings participants

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in participating in
or supporting this program, please give us a call.

Supporting Churches
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Updated 6/29/08