Barbara Porter - Being His Hands

October 2012
by Dawn González

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October 2012

Barbara Porter is known around town as “The Lady with the Hands.”

She has earned this endearing moniker by serving the Midlands deaf community for more than half a century. A glowing testimony to British Revivalist Henry Varley’s charge, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a (wo)man fully consecrated to him,” Barbara’s ministry is rooted in humble beginnings. And despite no formal training, she has faithfully and successfully served the deaf since 1952.

Perhaps best known for her 38-plus years of service as full-time Minister of Special Ministries at First Baptist Church of Columbia, Barbara oversees seven interpreters for the deaf and coordinates with other church ministries to provide deaf classes for all ages. She interprets worship services and has taught community-wide sign language classes for so long that she has taught some students’ children and grandchildren. Her hands, though bent with age now, are rarely still.

She conducts the Silent Sounds Choir, a deaf choir that sings with their hands, and works closely with the area’s only annual Special Education Vacation Bible School. “On a recent Special Ed. Sunday, the deaf rang hand bells,” Barbara says, “and we hosted 160 special education church members and their guests for lunch afterward. It’s very rewarding work.”

Why did Christ die for you?   www.whyhedied.org

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