A Better Way: Where Least is Most
Author: David Glover
Softcover retail price: $19.99
E-book price: $5.99
When David Glover’s grandson Zachariah Kyle Emerson was born in 1998, the Gainesville man felt blessed.
Four years later when Zachariah died, Glover decided to start a ministry in his honor: PURE Ministries, which stands for Perfectly created by a loving God, Unique in every way, Receptive and responsive, and Eternal, there are no disabled souls.
PURE ministry advocates for people with special needs and removes the label of disabled person. Glover never described his grandson as a child with a disability in spite of being born with hydrocephalus and myriad other disorders including cerebral palsy. Instead, the 64-year-old described his grandson as a pure child.
“(PURE people) are more authentic, genuine and open,” Glover said in a recent phone interview. “They love more than we do and love better than we do. They value relationships more than anything.”
Based on this knowledge and seeing the work of PURE ministry, Glover decided to write his thoughts down. The ultimate result is his newly published book “A Better Way: Where Least Is Most.”
The ordained minister explained the book is not a testimony or a personal story about him and his grandson. He said it is a summary of the PURE ministry and a guide for Christians to reach out to PURE people.
Statistically speaking, churches do not have a lot of special-needs people in attendance. He noted about 18 percent of the population has a disability. Therefore, at least 5 percent of a church congregation should be comprised of people with disabilities.
“Statistically, we should have it,” Glover said. “But we don’t. We barely have 1 percent.”
The Gainesville man explained the main reason for the disparity is fear.
“We fear the awkward and uncomfortable situations,” he said.
Stripping away the fear and making Christians more aware is part of the goal of PURE ministry. Another goal is to inspire, encourage and equip Christians to reach out to PURE people and their families. It also strives to transform the viewpoint society has of individuals with special needs.
“We try to encourage people to get beyond the fear,” Glover said. “When we do that, God blesses us.”
And Glover is knows it first hand. The grandfather said he was blessed when his first grandchild, Zachariah, was diagnosed with a disability.
“People would never look at that as a blessing,” he said. “They would look at it like it was a tragedy, and it wasn’t.
“That’s really one of the things God teaches us, he continued. “He was a blessing.”
Glover felt so blessed, he decided to take the name Zachariah.
“I am probably the only person who is named after their grandson,” he said, which causes many puzzled expressions. “After Zach died, I realized the impact he had on me. I asked Zach’s parents if I could change my middle to his name. So I did.”
Then he went a step further and founded PURE ministries in 2004 and became an ordained minister by Blackshear Place Church in Flowery Branch in 2008.
“God used (Zach) to open our eyes to those with disabilities,” he said. “And more specifically, the hole in ministry in regards to the effects of families with a person with a disability.”
Dr. Nelson Price, who met Glover when he was interim pastor at Blackshear, said he was hoping the new ministry would develop and provide a need.
“It ministers to people who are often overlooked in and outside of the church,” the retired minister said. “And my observation is it is a serving a proper and good function.”
Through PURE Ministries, Glover and others reach out to Christians and churches to help them become more aware and show them how to include people with disabilities and their families.
“When we exclude people with disabilities, then we exclude their families,” he said.
PURE Ministries focuses on churches to start respite care for PURE persons and their siblings.
“It is to give parents a night out,” Glover said, noting some churches including Blackshear Place and Lakewood Baptist churches have a respite plan in action.
By doing this, churches are not only following in the footsteps of Christ, they are getting something in return.
“The real message is the church needs these people about as much as they need us,” Glover said, noting that message is in the book. “These people show us a better way to live.”