As a minister and disability awareness specialist, I offer biblically based training to congregations, book clubs, and other organizations that are interested in learning how the church can proactively include people with disabilities.

My training topics include:

  • How to identify and mitigate barriers to inclusion
  • How to practice disability etiquette
  • How to launch a disability ministry
  • How to launch a mental health ministry
  • How to evangelize people with intellectual disabilities
  • How to formulate a sound theology of disability and suffering


As a minister, I believe that God commands the Christian church to practice inclusion for all people just as Jesus did. Clearly, Jesus did not focus his ministry solely on those who were able to provide for themselves, but he concentrated on healing and comforting those who had need of him.

Matthew 4:23-25 informs us about how Jesus healed people with all types of diseases so that the glory of God could be revealed. Mark 8:22-25 lets us know that Jesus healed a man who was blind. Luke 14:13 admonishes us to invite social outcasts who are disabled to our feasts. And John 5:1-15 presents a narrative that describes Jesus’ encounter with the man who had an infirmity for 38 years.

In each case, Jesus extended his love and compassion for those who were marginalized and rejected by society. And just as there were people with disabilities in Jesus’ days, such is the case for the contemporary church.

Moreover, when the church demonstrates that people with disabilities are not a burden to the church, but add value to the Kingdom, congregants will begin to treat them with dignity and respect. And the watching world will discern the omnipresent glory of God in everyone’s life.

Disability Awareness Consultant

On July 26, 2015, America celebrated the 25th anniversary of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Yet during this historic celebration, people affected by disability still struggled to overcome the church’s attitudinal barriers that prevented them from gaining equal access to the love of Jesus.

In contemporary society, the church has become the political, social, and economic center for the marginalized and downtrodden in the community. The church is the sanctuary is the safe place where the “have nots” can obtain refuge and relief while attempting to respond to some of the hard issues of life such as unemployment, crime, drug addition, eviction, and unplanned pregnancy. And although the church seeks to address these dire issues by offering job training, health screening, and counseling, it remains silent on advocating a disability ministry.


Not many authors dare to write about a topic without first experiencing the nuances of that topic. Cleveland’s experiences with physical disability originated with a strange twist. In 2020, Cleveland published his first book The Worst day of the Week: How Christian Faith Communities Can Transform Sunday Into the Best Day of the Week For People Affected by Disability.

Ironically, in 2021, he gained first-hand knowledge of the physical and psychological challenges people with disabilities must confront on a daily basis. As a result of his being diagnosed with severe arthritis in both knees, his mobility was limited. He became a candidate for double knee replacement surgery.

But thanks be to God, further periodic evaluations revealed that his knees were regaining their strength to the extent that he no longer needed the replacement surgeries. Cleveland transitioned from wheelchair to walker to cane to independent mobility.

Today, Cleveland understands why God allowed him to become temporarily disabled. Had he not been disabled, then perhaps his advocacy for the church’s inclusion of people with disabilities would have been of little effect.
To God be the glory!