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January 21, 2004

Pastor's belief spurs deaf-led revival

From: Troy Messenger, AL - Jan 21, 2004

By Jaine Treadwell
The Messenger

The Rev. Bo Weed believes that deaf people need to hear God's word in a way that they can understand it. He believes Southside Baptist Church has been called to provide a way.

This weekend Southside Baptist Church will host a Deaf-Led Revival at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Phillip Easterling, Birmingham Community Deaf Church, will be the guest minister and Kim Christenberry will do the voice interpretations.

The revival services are not just for the hearing impaired. They are for everyone who wants to hear God's word, Weed said.

"God uses Phillip and Kim to speak to deaf - and hearing - people in a wonderful way," Weed said. "The message to the deaf, and to everyone, will be that God opens doors for all of us. God will use anybody who is willing to follow Him and answer His call."

Weed said about 50 deaf people are expected to be in attendance. They and their families will come from Troy, Dothan, Samson, Andalusia, Birmingham and Eufaula.

"Phillip's ministry is a testimony of what wonderful things God can do and the wonderful way He can use people," Weed said. "Through him, God is using a deaf man to preach to hearing folks. Is that not amazing?"

Weed believes that all people can do amazing things through Christ.

"We want the deaf people in our area to see how God uses people like Phillip in His ministry," Weed said. "We want them to know that they, too, can be active in God's ministry. The messages Phillip brings will be uplifting and inspirational for all who attend."

Southside Baptist Church has a deaf ministry. June Jones is the interpreter at the Sunday morning worship services.

"The revival services will be an extension of our deaf ministry at Southside," Weed said. "And we have faith that it will continue to grow as God leads us."

Weed became interested in a deaf ministry while serving a church in Dothan.

"I wanted to learn sign language so I could say 'hello' to every member of the church," he said. "I took a few lessons and I was able to sign. I believe that I was super-naturally inspired. God put me where He wanted me to be and He got hold of my heart. There's no doubt about it."

After only four lessons, Weed was able to sign an entire Sunday school lesson.

"It was not perfect, but it was so rewarding to be able to communicate God's word through sign language," he said. "And I know that those who attend our Deaf-Led Revival services will receive a real blessing from them as they see how the deaf members of the congregation 'hear' the word of God."

Weed said all people need to know about Jesus and they also need a place to worship in a way they can understand.

"We hope that these revival services will be the beginning of a special ministry that will broaden to include all of those with handicaps," Weed said.

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