A God story: Tabernacle Baptist Church in Macon interprets for first deaf worshipper


MACON, Ga. – Melissa Wells, a certified sign language interpreter, was expecting a Deaf co-worker to show up at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Sunday morning, so she  was prepared to sign the songs and sermon.

It turned out that friend was unable to attend, but Wells’ hours of preparation weren't for naught.

“A Deaf lady who we had never met showed up,” said Wells' husband, Kenny, the worship and administration pastor at Tabernacle.

Wells had prepared lyrics sheets and sermon notes so she would be ready. That’s when she received a text from her co-worker that she would not be able to come after all.

Melissa Wells was a bit sad, but not for long.

“Here is where it gets interesting,” Kenny Wells said. “The Lord had obviously prepared a Deaf lady to visit us that very day. He guided her our way.”

Most churches simply aren’t well prepared to minister to Deaf and hard-of hearing people, and Kenny Wells wants his church to be different. So he encouraged his wife to consider providing interpretation at Tabernacle, because she has a skillset that most people don’t have.

The Wells are praying that they have witnessed the start what will become a strong ministry to Deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Macon.

“I would love to see it flourish,” Kenny Wells said.

Barb Coffan, a champion for Georgia’s Deaf community who interprets at Georgia Baptist Convention annual meetings, said she "knows Tabernacle is on the threshold of experiencing untold blessings from the Lord."

“Wow, what a God story,” she said.