news-category: Campus News

Joyful Hands Ministry Team from Gardner-Webb Presents American Sign Language (ASL) Worship Night on Nov. 9 at Crestview Baptist Church

Two members of Joyful Hands signing to a song

Guest Speaker is the Rev. Brance Long from Charlotte (N.C.) Deaf Mission

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Joyful Hands Ministry Team of Gardner-Webb University invites everyone—Deaf, hard of hearing or hearing—to its American Sign Language (ASL) Worship Night on Thursday, Nov. 9. The event will be held at Crestview Baptist Church, 1090 Old Boiling Springs Road, Shelby, N.C.

Because the program will be entirely in ASL, interpreters for the hearing will be provided. The guest speaker is the Rev. Brance Long from Charlotte (N.C.) Deaf Mission. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m. and worship begins at 6:30 p.m. The evening is free, but reservations are requested.

Faith Peavey, Joyful Hands vice president, said the club’s mission is to connect the hearing and Deaf communities through music and sharing the love of Jesus. “My hope for the evening is to draw the hearing and Deaf communities together in worship and show that worship can happen in any language,” she said. “I want to bring in the Deaf community, because it is their space, their language, and their culture that we want to respect in our interpretations.”

Two students from Gardner-Webb provide ASL interpreting for Sunday and Wednesday services at Crestview, where Artie Hubbard is the senior pastor. Hubbard said the church has employed ASL interpreters for its services for several years and all of them have been Gardner-Webb ASL students.

“I have wanted to offer a worship service in ASL for a while, but I couldn’t get all the pieces together,” Hubbard explained. “We have a church member who is Deaf, Tara Washburn. She has a beautiful testimony and is at church every service. She is very special to me and my family and to Crestview. So, I wanted to have an ASL service for her.”

When members of Joyful Hands contacted him about hosting the service, he welcomed the opportunity. My prayer is primarily that we are able to reach the Deaf community in our area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he affirmed, “Secondly, I pray that our members will gain a better understanding of what Tara experiences every time she attends a service that needs to be interpreted.”

Jessica Grant, assistant professor of ASL, is the faculty sponsor for the club. She emphasized that students come to Gardner-Webb to learn ASL and interpreting to be able to serve their local Deaf community. She added, “Having an ASL worship night and inviting in a well-known Deaf pastor to speak gives our Christian ASL students and club/organization members an opportunity to fellowship together and with the local Deaf community—and to give back to that community in an act of service.”

For more information, email [email protected].

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 working days prior to the event.  Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] with your request.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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