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May 2, 2004

Sense of Community

From: Flint Journal, MI - May 2, 2004

Sunday, May 02, 2004
By Steve Jessmore, 810.766.6251

We are often surrounded by more good than bad, but sometimes we have to stop and lend a hand to make where we live a unique and better place.

"When I went to Nazarene College, one night while I was sleeping I had a dream. I was trying to preach to the hearing people but I couldn't respond, couldn't hear. That's when I decided not to be a preacher.

"Twenty years later I had the same dream, but I was preaching in sign language ... this time to deaf people. Then I knew I was going to be a preacher. "You have to be willing to try. God will take care of the other problems.

"I got more involved seeing the need for the deaf to become a church. There were deaf ministries in churches but no deaf churches. Pastors didn't call on the deaf. They didn't let the deaf usher and do other things.

"I want the deaf to do their own praying. I want the deaf to teach and witness to the deaf. I'm trying to help the deaf become more responsible on their own.

"There were a lot of things I didn't understand growing up. I want the deaf to accomplish things on their own. I'm proud that the deaf can take care of themselves. If I left the church, it can still go on."

Del Granger

Del Granger, 65, of Linden worked as a masonry contractor for 42 years before becoming a pastor and founding Lighthouse Chapel of the Deaf in Burton -- a church of, for and fully supported by the deaf. Granger was born deaf in Grand Blanc, and his mother diligently worked to teach him to talk. He attended Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint for seven years before being transfered to the Grand Blanc School District because of his speaking ability. He regularly ministers at MSD -- which turns 150 this year -- and volunteers with a deaf Senior Citizens group, where his goal is to help deaf seniors become more independent, helping them solve problems they encounter in the hearing world.

Point of action

Services at Lighthouse Chapel of the Deaf, 4226 E. Atherton Road, are Sundays at 6 p.m., preceded by Sunday school at 5 p.m. A Wednesday night prayer and Bible study is at 6:30 p.m.

***, 810.766.6251

© 2004 Flint Journal. Used with permission

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