Helping Churches Become Accessible!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Jan. 26, 2012

wheelchair lift at front of churchwheelchair lift - close upMountain View Community Church in Colorado was built in 1907, long before ramps and elevators became common in church buildings. Joni and Friends’ Christian Fund for the Disabled provided a matching grant to the church in order to help them install an elevator (all while satisfying requirements of the Colorado State Historic Fund)! Pastor McConahy told us, “We have already seen the fruit of some elderly ladies coming to worship with us who live in public housing – they live just one block away and use electric scooters, so this elevator will get lots of use.” Joni and Friends is working hard to help churches like Mountain View create access not only in their buildings, but their church outreach programs, too. Visit our Church Relations department to find out how your congregation can better serve special needs families!


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We at Sheridan Church, in Tulsa, OK, need an elevator. We have an old 3 story building, with children upstairs. I use a walker and can not get my kids from upstairs. What happens when we have a disabled child come. If you could help the young pastors see that they need to do these upgrades. They are extremely important for other ppl. Maybe not them but others
  • May 30, 2018
  • 3:16 p.m.
  • Sheila Cooper
Thank you for the excellent article!
  • May 16, 2018
  • 10:33 p.m.
  • Toney
Hello. My church has a lot of the same challenges at this parish. We have a growing membership, with many elderly. As a result, often they are unable to attend services. Another challenge is my son also has significant physical disabilities. He is unable to get into the church independently for mass, as well as for other activities such as boyscouts. Do you have any recommendations on how to get started with the project or fundraising? Thank you!
  • Feb. 6, 2018
  • 6:37 a.m.
  • Kelsey Grendzinski
Hello, We have the same issue at our church. Many elderly persons are unable to attend services because there is not an elevator. I saw all the comments about this issue. Were there any suggestions or advice given?
  • May 30, 2017
  • 5:26 a.m.
  • Rebecca Turner
Dear Joni and Friends, I ran across this today. I have been chosen to assist my church with finding monies for a elevator and/or a lift. I belong to a congregation in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and our members are elderly and/or wheel chair bond, or just plain artherities. Our membership is currently small and there is simply lack of funds for such a project. We also have an issue with our roof. Prior to our purchasing the church the roof was completed by a contracted who used nails which were to short, thus making the roof an issue as well. We lose shingles and then their is a leak which creates further damage. I am looking for places to assist in both projects any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter. Rebecca Thompson
  • May 15, 2017
  • 9:03 a.m.
  • Rebecca Thompson
We are looking for funding to put in a ramp for the food pantry at our Church. It would cost $4,500 as per estimate I have from a local contractor. Is there a way your organization can help or point us in the right direction? Any information you can share is greatly appreciated.
  • March 24, 2017
  • 9:20 a.m.
  • Judith Warner
Hello, I belong to New Samaritan Baptist Church in Columbia, SC. We would like our sanctuary handicapped accessible. We have a few wheelchair bound members and several senior citizens that use walkers. Our sanctuary doors to the restrooms must be widened. We also need at least a chair lift from the downstairs kitchen to the restrooms which are located upstairs. It seems that this is estimated around $25,000. Please let us know how you can help. Thank you in advance!
  • July 22, 2016
  • 4:25 p.m.
  • Kim
Dear Joni and Friends, I have belonged to Clover Hill Reformed Church in Hillsborough, New Jersey for over 25 years. We are trying to make the downstairs portion of our church accessible to the handicapped, elderly, and temporarily-disabled. We want to have a LULA installed, but in our preliminary investigation with an architect, it seems as if we must do this project in three stages (create ramps outside of the church, re-locate the church office to the upstairs by building an upstairs addition to the present footprint; put a hole in the present office to house the LULA; then widen all doorways and bathroom stalls). As you can see, this is going to be a big and costly project, but one that is way overdue. Any guidance as far as grant resources will be really appreciated! Thanks for all you do!
  • July 2, 2016
  • 12:34 p.m.
  • Ann
The Church of Christ in Oakley, KS is trying to install an elevator which would make all levels of the church accessible. We also serve as a meeting place for the local girl scouts and we are a tornado shelter to those nearby (residents & businesses). Because we are a small congregation, we would like resources where we could receive financial assistance to make our church accessible for our older members as well as those visiting for weddings, funerals, and other occasions.
  • June 19, 2016
  • 12:52 p.m.
  • Kathy Wentz
I belong to St John the Baptist Orthodox church. We have a very elderly population and it breaks my heart to see our elderly struggle to climg 15 to 20 stairs to get into our church. They also have to struggle to climb down 15 more stairs to basement for our coffee hour. My friend ,who is in a motorized wheelchair cannot come to church with me due to his worsening condition and he resides in a nursing home. Has never been to a church and there is no way I can bring my friend to hear our Lord's words. Money has always been a obstacle and has pushed our parioshioners dreams down. We have had blueprints for an exterior elevator to be put in and still keep with historic preservation of our parish. The plans have sat for nearly 20 yrs now. I am in charge of stewardship and part of that is making our parish easily assesible for our handicap and our elderly, which our parish does not do currently. Please help me. I am very new to church grants and I am just getting my feet wet at this. Help me to help our parishioners SEE God at work here with the help and love of others.
  • Nov. 11, 2015
  • 6:06 a.m.
  • James M Hryb
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