About > History 1960-1977

In the 1960’s in Northern Indiana there was a concern growing in the Mennonite Church that congregations were not welcoming and supportive of people with disabilities and their families. This concern started with families who had a family member with a disability, but the concern was increasingly shared by others.

In December 1974 this concern finally took shape in the creation of Project Promise, a program run by volunteers specifically oriented to the spiritual needs of people with disabilities. This new ministry met at Clinton Frame Mennonite Church east of Goshen, and included regular meeting and worship times. In October 1976 the first annual Project Promise spiritual retreat weekend began.

While many people gave time and energy to the creation of Project Promise it was primarily driven by the vision of Drucilla Chupp. If not for her prayerful, gentle but persistent commitment to finding a place in the church for people with disabilities Project Promise and all that followed would never have come about.

Once Project Promise had been established there grew an increasing interest in taking care of not just the spiritual but also the daily living needs of adults with disabilities. In February 1977 Herb Minnich and Paul Kurtz called together a group to consider providing residential services (i.e. homes). The decision to proceed was made and Mennonite Disabilities Committee (MDC) was formed.