VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/16/12)—At the Mission Center recently, Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), presented a $50,000 check to Gary W. Wagner, president and CEO of Rainbow Acres, an American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)-associated ministry that provides residence, holistic programs and vocational training to adults with developmental disabilities.
Situated on 30 acres in rural Camp Verde, Ariz., the ministry serves more than 90 individuals from throughout the United States.
“This [donation] will have a transformative effect,” said Wagner, noting that Rainbow Acres residents—known as “ranchers”—are free to choose their own daily activities and make their own schedules.
Each year, ABHMS distributes money set aside through the Olive K. Thomas Fund specifically for maintenance of homes for the elderly; Rainbow Acres’ clients range in age into their 80s.
“We’ve been seeking to use these funds to aid the most underserved of our population in general and the American Baptist family specifically. I feel particularly pleased about how these designated funds are aiding the elderly with developmental disabilities,” says Wright-Riggins. He adds that the elderly are often unlikely to have remaining family to ensure that their needs are met.
Rainbow Acres serves the whole person, with an emphasis on spiritual development. “As you lose abilities,” Wagner says, “faith is what you have to cope.”
Through an American Baptist Foundation-administered 2011 grant from the Virginia and Gordon Palmer Jr. Trust, Rainbow Acres recently added a day program to provide services to individuals who live off campus.
For more information about ABHMS, visit www.abhms.org or phone 1-800-ABC-3USA, x2394.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.