“The death of the Reverend Wade Blank on February 15, 1993, left a profound emptiness in the hearts of many people who loved and respected him. But any void in the disability rights movement is only momentary, for Blank left behind scores of human values, a keen analysis – and scores of skilled, committed leaders ready to carry the movement forward.”
This is what leads the website for a tri-county agency who has developed leaders to take the baton from their fallen leader. The key words in the tribute is the admission of “a void in the disability rights movement.” Even with the best intentions of training, developing and mobilizing leaders almost 20 years after the death of the charismatic leader, progress has been slow without Wade Blank. In Exodus, Moses father-in-law, Jethro observes the work Moses has been called to do and gives an analysis of the situation. “1. God is doing great things 2. Moses is in over his head 3. Without help he will burn out.” (Exodus 18:17) “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you, you cannot handle it alone” Moses listened to Jethro and chose capable men and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” It is important to do as Wade Blank did, to lead, develop leaders, communicate vision, and to provide “keen analysis.” With all these things that Wade Blank left, one thing he did not leave was a workable network of trusted leaders and that is what has left a void.
Friends and Fellowship
At Washington Park Chapel in Denver the third season of Friendship Fellowship will begin on September 12. Leaders Carrie Schnur and Pastor Bruce Duell were trained by the founding Special Needs Pastor to continue the ministry to people with Intellectual Disabilities. It is an outreach church of Ancient Paths Network of Churches. The founding pastor of Friendship Fellowship continues to be on-staff and is an elder with Ancient Paths House Church Network in Denver. Bruce Duell founded Ancient Paths and for many years worked with Wade Blank at Atlantis in an outreach ministry to the physically disabled. In June 2010, Ancient Paths began reaching out to the intellectually disabled through Friendship Fellowship. After working a year together and reaching 40 people with Intellectual Disabilities, their caregivers, and family members, the founding Special Needs Pastor communicated that in order to help more people with Intellectual Disabilities it is important to reach other communities. Carrie and Bruce run Denver’s Friendship Fellowship. Two other special needs pastors are in Colorado Springs starting two new Friendship Fellowships that will reach between 24 and 40 people. The vision is to train new Pastors and mentors from Friendship Fellowship at Mountain Springs to start other Friendship Fellowships in Aurora, Canon City, Fort Collins and in Jefferson County.
Friendship Fellowship Weekday Churches in Colorado Springs starts Tuesday, September 11 at Mosaic, 888 Garden of the God’s Road, Ste 100 at 10AM.
Friendship Fellowship: Wednesday Morning Church in Denver starts Wednesday, September 12 at Washington Park Chapel 1001 South Pearl at 10:30 AM.
Friendship Fellowship: Thursday evening in Colorado Springs starts Thursday, September 13 at Mountain Springs Church at 5:30 PM. This is the training church for mentors, leaders and special needs pastors.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
To contact the Denver Special Needs Ministry Examiner with information on ministries related to people with Intellectual Disabilities along the Front Range e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.