2019 Keynote Speakers
Colleen Swindoll Thompson
Colleen Swindoll Thompson has tackled—and continues to tackle—some of life’s toughest experiences. Being raised in a Christian home didn’t shield her from a difficult divorce, raising a son with multiple disabling conditions, working through mental health issues, and living with chronic pain. Instead, Colleen’s daily challenges cause her to examine her faith and find meaning in the Christian life. Colleen is known for her witty and warm charismatic spirit, always seeking to authentically encourage others with grace and truth.
In 1993, Colleen graduated with a degree in Communications and a double-minor in Education and Psychology. Colleen’s passion is to connect and encourage caregivers, domestic-abuse survivors, the disabled, and those struggling with challenges of faith and life. She also loves to integrate real life with God’s Word through her books, blog, Reframing Ministries podcast, and speaking events. Apart from work, Colleen treasures time with her family, reading on quiet afternoons, and fulfilling her never-ending wish to win yard-of-the-month through gardening.
Sandra Peoples (M. Div) is a special-needs mom and sibling. She and her family live outside of Houston, TX where she serves her church as co-director of the special-needs ministry. She’s the author of Unexpected Blessings: The Joys and Possibilities of Life in a Special-Needs Family. You can connect with her at sandrapeoples.com.
Dr. Stephen “Doc” Hunsley
Stephen “Doc” Hunsley, M.D. is the SOAR Special Needs Director and Pastor for Grace Church in Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas. Doc started Grace Church’s special needs ministry in 2011, helping it to become a hallmark ministry for the church. The SOAR (Special Opportunities, Abilities, and Relationships) special needs ministry serves over 850 individuals with special needs through weekend church programming, family support groups, and regular respite events. SOAR also has adult programming on the weekend, a VBS, and a Special Needs Day Camp in the summer. Doc founded and leads the Kansas City Special Needs Ministries Network, for area church leaders. He is currently assisting over 250 churches locally and nationally to start a Special Needs Ministry. Doc also organizes the Wonderfully Made Conference held annual every October in Kansas City. Doc is currently creating SOAR Special Needs as a separate 501(c)(3) taking the respite, camp, conference, and church consulting as an independent organization. Prior to serving as a special needs pastor, Doc was a children’s pastor. Doc is a retired pediatrician while his wife, Kay, continues practicing pediatrics. They are proud parents to three beautiful children: Luke, Mark and Sarah. The Hunsley’s middle child, Mark, is presently running the halls of heaven. During Mark’s five-year earthly stay, he gave his family the opportunity to learn from and love a child with autism. You can follow SOAR on Facebook or Connect with Doc on Twitter: @DocHunsley. VisitGraceChurch.com/SOAR
2019 Conference Speakers
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