Special Needs Ministry

First Presbyterian Church is committed to being an inclusive, hospitable, Christ-centered community of faith filled with grace and compassion. Our members value each individual’s gifts, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be involved in the life of the church.

Mobility at FPC

Maps of the church grounds and buildings, including parking, entry access, bathrooms, routes from one building to another, are available here or at the Welcome Desks.

Accessibility Map – Upper Level
Accessibility Map – Lower Level

Elevators

Two Elevators are located in the main building:

  • The elevator at the entrance of the Administration wing accesses the second floor (Session Room, sanctuary, adult meeting rooms, pastor and administrative offices) and the first floor (Children’s Ministry wing, Courtenay Hall and Lounge, and youth and adult classrooms).
  • An internal elevator is located outside the sanctuary door on the pulpit side, down the short hallway to the right. The elevator accesses the hallway near Courtenay Hall and Lounge.

The elevator in the Enrichment Center accesses the auditorium on the upper level and classrooms and the main building via an outdoor, covered walkway on the lower level.

Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs are available and stored in one of the closets entering the sanctuary and in the closet next to the elevator on the 2nd floor Administration wing lobby.

Parking

Handicapped parking spaces are convenient to each entrance of the church, and additional senior parking is designated for Sunday mornings.


Worship at FPC

 
Needs with Vision and Hearing

If you are in need of a hearing assistance device during worship, First Presbyterian is prepared for you. The system has three different ear sets: “loop set,” “outer ear,” and the “in the ear” piece. The charging station for the devices is located on a table on the right side in the narthex. These devices function only in the Sanctuary, and are activated when the service begins and the sound system turned on. 

Large Print

Large-print hymnals, large-print bulletins and large-print Bibles are available for worship and are located on a table on the right side in the narthex.

Sermons

Sermons preached at First Presbyterian Church are published weekly. Visit the Sermons page to listen to an audio version or read a printed version of the sermon. Printed copies of the sermon are found in literature areas of the church (in the narthex and Welcome Center).

Cushions

Seat cushions are great for our shorter worshipers, allowing them to see above the pews and the adults sitting in front of them. They are stored in the narthex under a table on the left side and under the table outside the sanctuary door, below the pulpit.

Adults are also welcome to use them to enhance their comfort in worship. 

Audio-video Transfer

An audio-video transfer is available in Courtenay Hall for each Sunday morning worship service. It is a smaller but still spacious area to worship that is wheelchair accessible, has low sensory stimulation and allows for more movement. If that atmosphere aids in your ability to worship, feel free to enjoy the service in Courtenay Hall.

Gluten-Free Communion Wafers

Gluten-free Communion wafers are available each Sunday that Communion is served.


Learning/Behavioral Needs at FPC

FPC has a Disability Supports Coordinator on staff who works collaboratively with families with special needs and other church staff to provide direction and coordination for all services and supports that are necessary to ensure that each child, youth, and adult with special needs has the opportunity to participate fully in our ministries as a member of First Presbyterian Church, Nashville.

Our approach to working with families who have members with special needs is an individualized approach. We meet personally with families to create a plan that is most appropriate for the family and the person with special needs. We support and advocate an inclusive approach — children with special needs remain together with their Sunday School classmates. When appropriate, we use a “Buddy” system to provide additional support to a child, youth or adult. Buddies may be church members or interns from the community. We will also implement accommodations or adaptations that provide additional support.

FPC Recreation Department’s Oak Hill Day Camp

OHDC is dedicated to providing camp opportunities for children with special needs. Though we are not considered a Special Needs Camp, we do offer a one-on-one counselor for children who may need assistance. There are only a small number of special needs counselors each session and are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Please note there may be needs we are not able to accommodate and a meeting with the director may be necessary.

Visit the Recreation Department website

Oak Hill School

Oak Hill School was founded in faith as an outreach ministry of First Presbyterian Church, serving children in Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grades. The Learning Services Department is one of the features that distinguishes Oak Hill in the private school community. Two full-time learning specialists serve students who might have varied physical disabilities or learning challenges, parents and teachers in order to individualize each student’s learning experience and provide students at all grade levels with academic support or enrichment challenges through Learning Services in an individual or small group setting. Oak Hill’s dedicated learning specialists regularly serve as resources to help parents and teachers better understand the unique learning profile of each student.

Visit the Oak Hill School website


Food at FPC

 
Wednesday Night

Wednesday night dinner has the weekly option of ordering a plain piece of baked chicken and/or a baked Irish or sweet potato, instead of the evening’s menu.

Allergy Aware Environment

The Children’s Ministry is an Allergy Aware Environment. Parents are requested to alert the Children’s Ministry staff of any food allergies children have and to let us know if they are life threatening. This information is shared with classroom teachers. 

Visit the Children’s Ministry website


Supportive Services at FPC

The mission of First Presbyterian Church is to know Christ, to make Him known and to exhibit His love through worship, education and service. In that mission is the calling to care for those who suffer from illness, bereavement and other challenging times. Among the congregational care ministries at FPC are the Adult Caregiver Support Group, Career Transitions Network, Grief Support Group, Home Partners, Manna Freezer, Stephen Ministry, Lending Closet for used medical equipment, prayer support groups and more.

Visit the Care & Support section of this website to learn about the offerings, to read their descriptions and to get in touch with a ministry contact.

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