Friendsday program celebrates special day

Special occasion: Christian Mercy Fellowship Hall is a place for young special needs adults after they transition out of the public school system. (Contributed photos)

Special occasion: Christian Mercy Fellowship Hall is a place for young special needs adults after they transition out of the public school system. (Contributed photos)

By Chanel Bingham | Special to the Advertiser

The Friendsday program recently celebrated a special occasion, as after months of hard work, the newly-renovated Christian Mercy Fellowship Hall was officially dedicated on Nov. 20.

The fellowship hall was named in memory of Christian Bingham, son of Ralph and Linda Bingham, who passed away in 2002, and Mercy Larocca, daughter of Susan Larocca Bingham, who passed away in 2007.

Although Christian was born with spina bifida, he did not allow his physical impairment to hamper his spirit.

Susan Larocca Bingham described him as being spiritually gifted.

“Christian was a very godly young man who was able to apply scripture to life,” she said. “His mother was part Indian, so he was given an Indian name, which meant ‘kind-hearted.’ And that’s the way he was. He was a rare, special, sweet person.”

Mercy was also a special child, with a heart overflowing with love and joy, Bingham said.

“Mercy was a very spiritual little child,” she said. “She was joyful, playful and full of personality. She was full of the love of the Lord.”

Ceremony guest: Probate Judge Bobby Martin was a guest at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Ceremony guest: Probate Judge Bobby Martin was a guest at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mercy was born with Down Syndrome and developed leukemia at the age of 6; however, she never lost her love for life or her love for people.

“Even during the leukemia and chemotherapy treatments, she was like a bright little star that kept shining no matter what she went through,” Bingham said. “She would be so excited about this program. I know they are both so excited and looking down from heaven.”

The Christian Mercy Fellowship Hall provides a place of fellowship and camaraderie for young, special needs adults after they transition out of the public school system.

The program incorporates Bible studies, praise and worship, crafts, sign language, fellowship and more. The program also offers a safe environment for these young adults to develop their own unique gifts and talents.

Probate Judge Bobby Martin, a supporter of the program, served as the guest of honor at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Bobby has always been a huge supporter of this ministry,” Bingham said. “He has championed our work for Christ and has always been so giving and loving. We appreciate him and his support.”

The Christian Mercy Fellowship Hall is located at 75 8th St. S. in the Through the Grace of God Ministries building.

The Friendsday program is open to all special needs young adults and their families. They meet every Friday at 9 a.m., followed by lunch at 11 a.m.

For more information about the program, call Susan Bingham at (205) 688-0067.

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