A local church organization has created a free app to better share Bible passages and stories for the deaf community.
Deaf Pathway Global is a nonprofit outreach ministry that was launched in January 2021 at Brentwood Baptist Church. Although hosted and launched at the church, it is a self-sustaining organization seeking outside funding to grow.
Scott Harris pastored for 18 years at Brentwood Baptist. He is now Chairman of the Board of Deaf Pathway Global.
“Deaf people have a rich culture and language,” he said. “Unfortunately, many hearing people only see deaf people through the lens of disability. Our deaf brothers and sisters have the passion and skills to reach other deaf people around the world with the message of God’s love in the natural language of their hearts. »
Brentwood Baptist has a long and storied history of serving the deaf community.
In the mid-1980s, a deaf ministry was started by Betty Stirsman, a Brentwood resident and church member. The ministry has since grown into an all-deaf worship space, the Inman Deaf Center, which was designed by a deaf architect.
Aric Randolph leads the BB Deaf Church. It is believed to be the only designated place of worship in the country for the deaf community.
Through this ministry, a need was identified for an initiative to share stories and Bible passages to the deaf community. Deaf Pathway Global began as a joint ministry initiative between Brentwood Baptist and the International Mission Board.
The Deaf Pathway Bible app allows users to personally experience the Bible in sign language. There are over 300 distinct World Sign Languages in the world, and Deaf Pathway Global strives to produce a minimum of 300 key Bible passages and stories in each of the 300 languages.
Currently, there are 1,200 Bible stories on the app in 15 world sign languages.
“Many deaf people around the world do not read or do not read well. And, even if they do, when they read the Bible, they’re reading a foreign language,” Harris said. “Sign language, the language of the heart of the deaf, is a language of the hands and the eyes.”
Deaf Pathway Global currently has a staff of 10, all but one deaf. The non-profit organization provides employment to those who are traditionally underemployed.
The recent Oscar-winning film “CODA”, which stands for “Child of Deaf Adults”, opened our eyes to Deaf culture and what it’s like to be a hearing child who has to translate for parents or siblings. and sisters.
Vesta Sauter, Executive Director of Deaf Pathway Global, is CODA. She knows firsthand what it is like growing up with hearing impaired parents and has a powerful story of her experience.
Currently, Sauter leads a team in Eastern Europe working with deaf Ukrainian refugees, giving them the opportunity to experience the Bible during difficult and difficult times brought about by war.
To learn more about the Deaf Pathway Bible app and Deaf Pathway Global, visit www.deafpathway.com.