BY MICHAEL J. METTS
Shirley Elosh understands special needs well. Her son, Jonathan, 28, has multiple needs that require unique care. Elosh’s parenting experience has prepared her for ministry to people with similar needs.
“I was starting to think about what the Lord was putting on our heart about special needs,” said Elosh, who began to consider launching a church designed for people with special needs and disabilities.
On Sept. 26, 2010, God’s Choice held its first service in the facilities of the First FMC in East Liverpool, Ohio, where Elosh serves as associate pastor. It soon grew to have 60–70 people in attendance every week.
When attendance made a second location necessary, Monacrest FMC in Monaca, Pa., offered to partner with Elosh. With its facility and volunteers, God’s Choice Beaver Falls launched on Oct. 1, 2012. Attendance has
already reached the maximum capacity of 100 people, and Elosh is working to launch a third location. She has received offers to partner with other churches in the Pittsburgh Conference.
Elosh and God’s Choice volunteers find it rewarding to work with people who have special needs.
“When they first come in, we see the wheelchairs, the walkers, the disability,” Elosh said. “But it doesn’t take long before that’s not even a thought in looking at the person the way God wants us to see.”
Elosh’s son has also played a very active roll in the ministry.
“I’m happy to be a part of it,” Jonathan Elosh said. “I’m learning to see other people be used by God.”
While God’s Choice has been expanding rapidly, Shirley Elosh hopes it will spread even further. After receiving encouragement from conference leadership, she wrote a manual for how to replicate the ministry.
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s Choice, contact Shirley Elosh at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (330) 550-9434.0