Travel Report: Meridian, Mississippi (USA)

All it takes to begin a movement of compassion is a vision. Elder Martin Fancher, Executive Secretary of the Gulf States Conference, saw a need and set about to fill it. Autism is a recognized epidemic in the United States. Pastor Fancher sought to hold what I believe was a first–an Autism Awareness Sabbath, on November 2, 2019. The General Conference “Adventist Possibility Ministries” was invited to speak along with conference and union personnel. Featured in the presentations was the developing global movement of compassion regarding those who have various disabilities. In the afternoon the characteristics of the Autism/Aspberger Spectrum were addressed: “What Autism Is and Is Not”. It was a full day event and held in the Meridian, Mississippi Adventist Church. Fifteen churches were represented. Of special interest was a sacred vocal concert presented by Reid Soria, an autistic young adult who is fully aware of his own autism and supportive of efforts to provide greater understanding. His own business card reads, “IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES.” As you can imagine I was elated over his choice of words!!

Click the pictures below to view enlargements.

Pastor Fancher, Reid Soria & parents, Larry Evans
Rosemary Graham – Disabilities Ministries Director, South Atlantic Conference & Southern Union Conference

Lauren Gold, Emory Hospital Mental Health Care
George Hamilton – Assistant Disabilities Director for the Gulf States Conference

Reid Soria