Realities of our Deaf world today:

– Over 1500 Deaf people die every single day. These Deaf are plunged into a dark Christless eternity. 

– The Deaf People worldwide are not only unengaged and unreached, but have had totally no access to the Word of God. They live in cities where there is no Deaf church.

– A handful of SBC missionaries are working hard to share the gospel and plant churches among Deaf who have been virtually unaware of the gospel.

IF YOU ARE A DEAF BELIEVER then know in view of these realities and opportunities, we don’t have time to stay stagnant. The gospel is too good and our God is too great.

IF YOU ARE A HEARING BELIEVER then know we desperately need and value partnerships where together we can employ a Biblical strategy for reaching and equipping the Deaf with the gospel.

Population Growth!

The church-to-population ratio in the United States peaked at only one Deaf church for every 21,390 Deaf/Hard of Hearing people. Some church planting efforts is occurring in this group, but it is less than 2% evangelical.

Population of Deaf/Hard of Hearing in America…

The total numbers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing residing in America is estimated to be 4 millions and yet only 58 SBC Deaf churches with at total attendance of 2,320. 

Are we as Southern Baptist reaching the Deaf of our cities?

The answer is no!

Do we have enough Deaf Church in North America?

A Deaf Community exists in every city and yet a Deaf Church does not. Where there is a Deaf Community, a Deaf Church, a community of Deaf believers, is needed. We need Deaf Churches at the center of every Deaf community. 

In the United States there are about 4 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals who use American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication. These Deaf consider themselves as belonging to a unique People Group.  

The Deaf Church is where Deaf people can worship in their own heart language. No arduous interpretation is needed but instead a Deaf man serves as the Pastor, the Deaf Music Minister leads the Deaf congregation in worship, Deaf men and women are disciples and Deaf leaders emerge. The Deaf practices patterns of fellowship, prayer, and Bible Study conducive to their culture and language. Deaf Churches send out our Deaf Missionaries.  Some church planting efforts is occurring in this group, but it is less than 2% evangelical.

How many Deaf churches exist within United State of America?

There are only 187 Deaf Churches  in the United States with an average attendance of 40. That is around .002% of 4 million Deaf or in other words 1 Deaf Church for every 21,390 Deaf/Hard of Hearing, but it is less than 2% evangelical.

Can an interpreter fill the gap?

Deaf Ministries where interpreters are central to communication are helpful but do not replace the being church.  It is important that the Deaf are not perceived as objects of ministry but are actively involved in evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, teaching and preaching.  Deaf churches are needed. 

Why do we use the word Deaf instead of deaf?

The usage of the word “deaf” applies to a physical disability. Individuals who have a hearing impairment are simply individuals who are pathologically deaf. 

      The usage of the word “Deaf” applies to a cultural group. The Deaf share language and cultural and identify themselves as part of an ethnolinguistic group. Being Deaf is very much about how they identify themselves and their community. The Deaf share community and language which here in the United States is American Sign Language. The Deaf are highly networked; participating in local, state, national and global Deaf events. Deaf people may attend a Deaf school or graduate from Gallaudet, the only liberal arts college for the Deaf. They are often active members in the National Deaf Association or American Association of Deaf Sports Association. Deaf churches are… 

Quote from a book…

“A study was conducted among the deaf churches and interpreted ministries in one mainline denomination. The findings were astounding. Of all the spiritual conversions in this denomination, 90 percent came from the 30 deaf churches and only 10 percent from the 200 interpreted ministries”

A Guide to Deaf Ministry – DeAnn Sampley