“Then I heard the Lord asking, whom shall I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go? And I said, Lord I’ll go! Send me.”
With this Biblical response, I, Repsie Marie Warren, vowed to be God’s special messenger to a unique people – those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, mainstreamed with the hearing. It was not of my doing, but it was the working of the Holy Spirit, which allowed Reverend Dorothy J. Josey and I to be the Founder and Co-Founder of the Society For Helping Church.
On Palm Sunday, 1976, the Society For Helping church was officially introduced to the Philadelphia vicinity. Some skeptics thought that because of the population it served and because it was shepherded by a female Pastor that it would not survive long. But today, thirty-one years later, Society Church not only survived but it has an outstanding history of service to God, to His people, to His community and to His country. We give God all the Honor! We give God all the Praise! We give God all the Glory!
Of the seventeen founding members who joined April 11, 1976, six are still members. They are Deaconess Janet Charleston, Geraldine Charleston-Banks, Janice Charleston-Walker, Christine Faust, Marcella Hand, and Rev. Dorothy J. Josey.
The Society For Helping Church was blessed from it’s humble beginning of it’s house ministry, located 2343 N. 52nd Street in Philadelphia with devoted and spiritual persons sharing their gifts. A host of professionals and para-professionals served on our Advisory Board. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, council-persons, nurses and government employees helped to fill our slogan, “Saying what we are doing – Doing what we are saying – HELPING.”
As a special education teacher, leader within Philadelphia City government and national spiritual community, I've been blessed to be a trailblazer for advocacy for the urban deaf and hard of hearing person as well as a trailblazer for women in ministry. Through Society Church and its social service agency, Society has provided free sign classes to the community for forty years, has provided exceptional training in English and written communications helping deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing persons obtain good paying jobs, provided summer programs, served our senior citizens, and much more.
God has blessed Society Church with some of the best members and friends any pastor could ask for. They have truly “let their lights shine, that men may see their good works and glorify our Father in heaven.”
We knew from the onset that God had laid out a special task for us and we understood that if we were to help draw mankind unto Christ, it could only be done through the working of the Holy Spirit. We knew that God’s spirit could empower us and guide us through this special ministry, and it has.