Faith, Fellowship, and Friends: A Special Group for Special People
Come as you are. This powerful invitation has been a part of the Faith, Family, and Friends group from its very beginning, over 11 years ago. Rick and Dee Huggins—two of FFF’s original members—share more about their family’s involvement with this special group for special people.
The Huggins have lived in Plano and attended Chase Oaks (formerly known as Fellowship Bible Church North) since 1988. Their older son now lives in Houston with his wife and three children; their younger son, Patrick, lives with Rick and Dee and attends My Possibilities during the week.
Both boys were actively engaged in church ministries and mission trips during their teenage years. And Patrick has volunteered with KIDS CO. and VBX for many years. However, the church didn’t have a dedicated space for individuals with special needs like Patrick before FFF began in 2011.
The Faith, Family and Friends group was started for people who are 18+ years old and have aged out of local high school special-needs programs. For two Fridays a month, FFF gathers at the Legacy Campus to enjoy a pot-luck meal, sing praise and worship music, hear a Bible lesson, and share prayer requests. The meetings end with plenty of time for those wanting to attend Friday night service at Legacy to find a seat.
Many of the group members are in their mid-20’s to mid-30’s, and many choose to have one or both parents attend the group with them. Most of the young adults join in easily with their peers, but parents are always encouraged to take a role to make things easier for their child if their child is shy or hesitant.
Rick and Dee help with the teaching rotation at FFF and assist with additional celebrations throughout the year. Pre-COVID, the group also participated in church-wide activities like the school supply drive and ToyZone.
Reflecting on the Huggins’ involvement with FFF, Dee shares,
We LOVE attending FFF with Patrick. The innocence and honesty of the group reveals the heart of God. The group is so open to hearing the lesson and participating.To me the most meaningful time is after the lesson, there is always time for sharing prayer/praise requests. What a sweet time! We would encourage anyone to visit … all are welcome with open arms.
FFF continues to grow through connections with others, drawing people from all over DFW. Currently, approximately 90% of its members attend other churches but love the heart of FFF and the Chase Oaks family. In fact, several Chase Oakers with a love for this special population have chosen to serve the group regularly, even though they do not have a special needs child themselves. Dee adds, “As a parent, that really impacts our lives too.”
At a recent meeting, some FFF members described what they enjoy and appreciate most about this special group:
- "Being here and being with friends…really awesome" - Connor
- "Very meaningful and how God has changed a lot of lives" - Jeffrey
- "Learn about God and be around friends and family" - Patrick
- "Being around friends" - Chad
- "Grateful we have a place to come to share prayer and praise…very loved and an awesome group" - Tito
- "We care for people, good and bad; great leaders" - Dillon
- "Loves the Bible" - John
- "Likes it when FFF members teach and share"- John F.
- "Likes the songs and pizza!" - Thomas
- "Likes when the group sings, ‘10,000 Reasons’" - Damarus
- "Talking about He is Risen, and the decorations" – Abby G.
- "Music and pizza" - Abby
- "Everybody is safe, thankful for FFF" – Mike
For over 11 years, FFF has been a place where people can truly come as they are. As word continues to spread about this unique group, so do opportunities for other groups to reach out, partner with FFF, and allow the church family to get to know these special members.
Connect with FFF by emailing [email protected] To find out more about our Groups, look here.