Rev. Mark McClanahan
As the father of an autistic son, special needs ministry is near and dear to my heart. This population is vastly under served. I've been a part of starting special needs VBS and special needs fall carnival. I have served Longview, Greggton UMC, Linden UMC, Van UMC, Normangee, First UMC and Flynn UMC.
Rev. Whitney Peper
Rev. Whitney Peper is an ordained Deacon in Full Connection within the UMC. She currently serves at St. Peter’s UMC in Katy, TX as the Pastor over Care Ministry, Special Needs and leads the Courage Worship Service on Sunday evenings. Whitney is married to Tim, and they have one son Jase.
Throughout her time at St. Peter’s, I have been blessed to serve as the lead for our Special Needs program and seen it grow and thrive into an amazing ministry that impacts the lives of children, teens, and adults with Special Needs and their entire family. We offer respite programs for children, teens, and adults, we have a thriving Sunday morning and Wednesday evening program, a worship service built for and by the special needs community, we offer parent and sibling support, host retreats for parents, and host special events throughout the year, and see our Special Needs Summer camp grow each year we are able to host it. I love working with other churches and ministries to help them see, while Special Needs can be a lot at times, it is one of the most fulfilling ministries because you are touching and impacting the whole thing. It is not about reinventing the wheel but working with others who have the wheel turning and partnering with them.