Special Needs

Our mission is to lovingly share Christ with God’s unique children to grow them spiritually and provide them with opportunities to serve and be served. It is the desire of the ministry to be a lighthouse of hope, acceptance and belonging for children, teens and adults with special needs and their families, so they may experience the love of Jesus and excel to their greatest potential, becoming all God desires them to be.

Check out this news report from AZ Family on our ministry!

Christmas Party 2019 | December 7th

Our annual Christmas Party for individuals with special needs is an awesome opportunity for people of all ages to experience the love and joy of Christmas. All individuals with special needs are invited to attend this community event. You don't have to be a member of Highlands, and the event is FREE!

Join us or a full afternoon of games, music, crafts, activities, food...and yes, even Santa! Our team of volunteers ensure that all party-goers receive the very best individual attention and care.

To register an individual with special needs, use the button below!



We need lots of friendly faces to be buddies and helpers throughout the event. It is a great opportunity to serve together as a family. No experience is required, just a heart to serve. We will provide new volunteer training on Sunday, November 25th during second service in the Office Building Conference Room.


night to shine 2020 | February 7th | 6:00pm

An unforgettable prom night experience for individuals with special needs. We will be dancing, singing karaoke, eating dinner, having a red carpet experience and so much more!

Register an attendee


We need plenty of friendly faces to help make this event great! Sign up to be a buddy, help with crafts, karaoke, food service, and so much more. 

Register a volunteer


Volunteers provide a safe and loving atmosphere for children and adults with special needs to learn and experience the love of Jesus Christ. Volunteers assist individuals with any extra help needed within regular Sunday School classrooms or worship services, and a self-contained classroom is also available with trained volunteers for direct one to one attention.

Highlands' Special Needs Ministry team is available for both the 9:00am and 10:45am service times as well as most special church-wide events - contact  with any questions. 

New Family Form

New to Highlands? Complete our NEW FAMILY FORM to help us make your family member with special needs time at Highlands awesome and safe.

Cowboy Sunday

We are thrilled to be partnering with Reigning Grace Ranch to bring horseback riding to our community! Cowboy Sunday will occur once a month from 1:00-3:00pm. We will provide barbecue, horseback riding, fellowship, and community to individuals with special needs and their families. If you are interested in attending a Cowboy Sunday, please register for one Sunday. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with more information. 

If you are interested in attending a Cowboy Sunday, click on a date below to register! Please only register for one Sunday. 


September 29th is full!

Oct 27th

There is a wait list for registration!

Nov 17th

There is a wait list for registration!


Feb 23rd

Mar 22nd

Apr 19th

We also need volunteers for Cowboy Sunday! If you are interested in helping our friends with special needs ride horses, register below! All volunteers must attend a volunteer training session. Volunteer Training will be held before our first Cowboy Sunday, on September 29th at 12:15-1:00pm.


Questions? Contact Kelsey Ankrom at  .

harmony dance

Harmony Dance is a creative arts ministry for teens and adults with special needs to express their love for Jesus through dance! Each class will center on the concept of using our ability to dance to magnify the Lord and show others the love of Christ. More Info...

Ongoing Programs

Parent Connect
1st Sunday of Each Month | 10:45am | Office Conference Room
This group is a time for parents and caregivers of individuals with special needs to come together and share the joys and challenges of the special needs journey. This group is facilitated by Dan and Monica Cluff, parents of an adult son with special needs. For more information, please contact Missy Farrington at  or call 602-820-3345. Our next Parent Connect is September 8th at 10:45am in the Office Lobby Conference Room. Please let us know you are coming by registering below.


Midweek Programming
Wednesdays during the school year at 6:30-8:00pm.
Bible lessons, games, crafts and social opportunities for children of all ages with special needs.


Wednesday Night Friendship Group
6:30-8:00pm Wednesdays
Our teens and adults with special needs will meet every Wednesday to socialize and have a Bible Study.


Moms in Prayer
Every Other Tuesday | Tuesdays 9:15am | Starting Sept 3rd
Gather with other moms of individuals with special needs for an hour of fellowship, prayer, and sharing recourses. There is something powerful when you come together in community and praying for your children. We meet in the Special Needs room in the Student Building. Sign up below to join us.


Offered quarterly, respite is an opportunity for parents to bring their children with special needs to Highlands for a fun-filled event so parents can have an evening to themselves. Reservations are required - contact  .

Night to Shine PHOTOS

We had an amazing night celebrating at our prom for individuals with special needs in partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation!  Check out the photo galleries below:



Highlands is an Irresistible Church

Our partners at Joni & Friends of Arizona define an irresistible church as an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong. If you have a special need or care for someone who does, come find out why the irresistible Special Needs ministry of Highlands can make a life-changing difference! 

Our Staff

Missy Farrington, Minister of Special Needs

Missy has a Master's Degree in Special Education and a certificate in Disability Ministry. We have many other professionals volunteering in our ministry as well. Our loving volunteers are trained by Missy and other special education professionals.