The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

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I call him 'Pastor'
I call him 'Pastor'

Some angels were as surprised as some people when God called young Todd into ministry. He had not been expected to live beyond a few years, so his announcement as a teenager about becoming a minister was received with misgivings. His parents, deeply touched, dismissed the notion as a dream with no chance of realization. Others reacted much the same, patronizing him. "Isn't that nice" or "good for you" were token responses, lacking conviction. Meanwhile, Todd trusted in the Lord. Determined to obey God's call, Todd learned all he could about Jesus. He sat under learned preachers, listened to their sermons and spent hours copying verses from his Bible. Whenever the church doors opened, whether Sunday service, Bible study, prayer or worship, Todd was there. If help was needed for any church event, Todd was there lending a hand. When anything occurred having to do with church or the Lord, Todd's presence was a given. Night after night, Todd's parents would find him in his room, hunched over his Bible, praying. They marveled at his fervent words of intercession for healing, comfort, and strength for family, friends and church members. Todd spent many days practicing sermons. Pacing up and down the pier by his lakeside home, arms waving, Todd addressed his "congregation", usually a flock of recalcitrant Canada geese. The name of Jesus was heard resonating off the water, booming with the passion of one who knew His grace and wanted to share it. He faithfully proclaimed the gospel to anyone who would listen. Nights of devoted prayer - days of loving service amassed into years. Todd showed "himself to God as one approved, a workman who need not be ashamed. . . " By now, one might assume Todd achieved his dream to become a minister, defying those who thought otherwise. Did he? Not as men reckon becoming one. Todd has Down syndrome. He functions well in many capacities, but he cannot read, much less earn a seminary degree. Yet, God looks on the heart, rather than outward appearances " so, did Todd become a minister? Absolutely! Todd has no worldly "minister" credentials - yet, I call him "Pastor" Todd. He knows the living Word and he lives it. Like a candle yielding tallow to show the Light of the world, Todd is aflame for Christ. His acts of service are his sermons, blessing many. At thirty-seven, "Pastor" Todd continues to minister. Each Sunday he greets church members - with a smile, his hand or a hug. He seeks out the flock's neediest " the widows, the infirm, the young, the old " asking how he can pray for them. He visits children's classes sharing his faith. He lays hands on babies and blesses them. He amazes Bible teachers by quoting scriptural principles. When asked about such knowledge, he simply says, "it's in the Bible." In love and respect, his church named him "Lifetime Deacon" but, I call him "Pastor" Todd. 2 Timothy 2:15b New International V




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Gina Cardinal, Canada,
1/12/2014 1:53:08 PM
there is a man in brazil who has down syndrome who preaches. I was looking for him when I found your beautiful story.

Tom Rothfuss, United States, MI
12/24/2011 11:22:55 AM
Awesome. Praise the Lord.

Elli Zurowski, United States, KY
10/18/2011 1:42:22 PM
This story is such an inspiration to me because I would be the most proud of mothers if the same could be said of my little Jeremiah when he grows to be a man! If he grows up to be like Todd Chandler I will be extremely happy.

Tracy Ferrara, United States, GA
8/5/2011 8:24:08 AM
What a very inspiring story! Stories like this kind of make you sit back, take a minute, and put everything into perspective. Thanks for sharing!

Bobbie Manns, United States, IN
7/14/2011 10:31:46 AM
Such a wonderful story. I remember Todd from school and it made me smile thinking about him and his love for the Lord.

steve kramer, United States, IN
5/26/2011 7:33:49 PM
awesome inspiring truth

John Leslie , United States, CA
5/17/2011 11:29:14 AM
I wish he could come speak at our church. The bible tells us the least shall be the greatest. A passion for souls, the poor and needy are the only credentials I have too and I have been ministering for many years.

Lynette Backiewicz, United States, OH
4/19/2011 11:36:52 AM
My husband and I have a 14 yr old daughter with down syndrome. Don't ever underestament what these beautiful people understand and can do.

Jeff crump, United States, MO
3/28/2011 12:32:31 PM
Great job on this. You must proud. Jeff

Mark G. Nelson, United States, MI
2/8/2011 2:54:19 AM
Way to go Todd. If we all demonstrated the faith we claim we have, this world would be a much nicer place to live foreveryone. May your story touch many people and demonstrate how Chirst really WANTS us to follow Him. -Mark

Angela Inman, United States, IN
2/9/2011 11:45:26 AM
What an inspiration for so many people!

Mark Lange, United States, IN
2/9/2011 9:05:38 AM
What an awesome challenge to all of us to be faithful to the calling that the Lord lays on our hearts.

Lynne Haines, United States, IN
2/7/2011 1:41:53 PM
What a gift Todd has! What a blessing to those close to him! Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.

Mallory Stidham , United States, IN
2/7/2011 1:40:23 PM
amazing!

Laura McKee, United States, IN
2/21/2011 7:07:03 PM
Todd is everything Sandra describes. To see him interact with people would be an encouragement to any family faced with the challenge of a special needs child. His love for people is obvious, and his love for his Lord is contagious.

Melanie (Haddock) Fortman, United States, IN
2/21/2011 3:46:37 PM
I have known Todd since we were kids. This story was very touching and inspiring. Todd has always shown his love to others and is very kind.

Tim Austin, United States, FL
2/13/2011 9:41:27 PM
We could all learn from Pastor Todd.

Zach Wolf, United States, IN
2/13/2011 8:58:49 AM
What an inspiration!

Karen Ness, United States, IN
2/7/2011 11:35:48 AM
What an inspiration Todd should be to all of us! Thank you for sharing the story of this man who is clearly such a blessing to those around him.

Kim Anderson, United States, IN
2/12/2011 7:50:09 PM
Todd is a great guy who loves the Lord and everyone around him. He is definitely a pastor at heart.

Julia Korytkowski, United States, AZ
2/10/2011 7:04:04 PM
I have heard about Todd through my friend, but I have never met him. I look forward to that some day, whether here or in Heaven.

Robin Duer, United States, IN
2/11/2011 1:17:34 AM
I was blessed in meeting Todd when his mother brought him to see me after the birth of my own Down Syndrome child. That thoughtful gesture assured me that things were going to be alright. What an inspirational story. Thank you for honoring him.

linda mcclanahan, United States, FL
2/16/2011 1:26:33 PM
todd is a credit to his family and to his Lord. thanks for sharing this great story.

Maggie Mylin, United States, IN
2/7/2011 5:07:14 AM
So inspiring!! This is what loving Christ is all about! What a beautiful heart this man has. May be all be encouraged in his passion to serve and love others. :)

Scott Pounds, United States, IN
2/14/2011 9:08:48 AM
I have known Todd for years. He has no idea what a impact he has had on so many. We built his church and Todd gave me a picture of himself. That picture hangs next to my office door. I look at it several times a day. He always brings a smile to my face.

Beverly J Stein, United States, IN
2/7/2011 4:50:07 AM
What a wonderful young man. I have the privilege of knowing his sister-in-law Andrea.

Lonnie Waltenberger, United States, IN
2/11/2011 4:06:39 AM
I have the pleasure of working with Todd on a daily basis. His heart is strong and pure in faith and he is very compassionate with those around hum. Todd truly ministers the word of God and he is an inspiration that anyone has the potential to be whatev

Doris Metz, United States, FL
2/11/2011 3:53:58 AM
I too know Todd as a great disciple of Jesus. He is loving and kind and an example for all.

Max Robison, United States, IN
2/11/2011 3:41:55 AM
I first met Todd some17 or so years ago and every time I think of him, I am inspired by his love, friendliness and faith in other people. We all can learn much about life from "Pastor Todd".

Jeff crump, United States, MO
2/7/2011 3:27:48 AM
Todd, Great to see you succeed in such an area that is so important and effects so many people. You take what God gives to you and make that area the best you can be and then help others. Keep up the study and sharing of the bible. Jeff

Mark Neubacher, United States, IN
2/7/2011 3:24:02 AM
Todd is showing the light of Christ and I give praise to God for using him to proclaim the message of salvation! I enjoyed the article.

Susan Trent, United States, IN
2/7/2011 2:46:51 AM
What a wonderful person to be inspired by! Faith is a true blessing, and I will definitely remember this story when my own faith wavers! :) Thanks so much for sharing! A good way to start the week!

Marietta Hite, United States, IN
2/11/2011 2:18:29 AM
Todd is an amazing young man who has an unbelievable love for the Lord. I have known him all his life, and I am honored and privilaged to call him my friend. I wish all could see the out pouring love he has for the Lord.

Patricia K. St. Clair, United States, IN
2/11/2011 2:03:19 AM
I worked at the elementary school that Todd attended and he was so kind and compassionate for all the students in his classroom or for the matter the entire school. Todd loved everyone and we all love Todd. He truly is a gifted Child of God.

Chandra Wilson, United States, IN
2/11/2011 1:32:32 AM
Such an inspiration and beautifully written.

Craig Metz, United States, FL
2/11/2011 3:16:17 AM
I am so very proud of my cousin Todd. He brings joy everywhere he goes. I always get a warm smile and big hug whenever I see him. So does my wife (watch out Todd). My children just love him. That is a wonderfulr story, thank you Sandi.

Walter Vallera, United States, FL
2/11/2011 4:54:15 AM
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney"

Roger & Jaye Metz, United States, CA
2/11/2011 4:44:32 AM
What an inspiring story.It brought tears to our eyes.

Thomas R. Ahlersmeyer, United States, IN
2/6/2011 11:28:56 PM
While having never met Todd, I have the privilege of knowing his brother Brian and his sister-in-law Andrea. They are people of vibrant and engaged faith, so when they spoke so enthusiastically about Todd and his ministry, I knew he must be someone very

Matt Earnest, United States, TN
2/8/2011 3:18:34 PM
Your story leaves an impression. Thank you for showing and reminding us what it truly means to follow Christ.

John and Judy Burgi, United States, IN
2/10/2011 2:08:13 PM
Todd is a member of our Church and we love him dearly. He is such an inspiration to anyone he meets. He greets us with a huge smile and a hug. He loves his God and it shows! Pastor Todd fits him perfectly! God Bless, John and Judy Burgi

Susan Bassett, United States, IN
2/10/2011 3:42:52 PM
Heart Warming! Good For You Todd! What a inspiration you are to everyone!

Peg Sanders, United States, IN
2/10/2011 3:09:37 PM
Inspiring story!

Jeannine Wirks, United States, GA
2/10/2011 2:32:20 PM
Todd is an amazing young man with a heart of gold. He shows only love to his family, friend and his fellow beings. Meeting Todd and reading his story was one of the best things that ever happen to me.

Harry L Johnson, United States, FL
2/11/2011 3:23:35 AM
Great Story Todd!

Natalie Hite, United States, TN
2/11/2011 6:31:07 AM
I babysat for Todd many years ago. It was through Todd I felt the love and desire to work closely with children with Downs. Todd is a great inspiration. I wish the best of luck for Todd and look forward to being greeted by him at church. Great story Todd

Jill Bashore , United States, NC
2/10/2011 4:12:04 PM
Angels come in many disguises. Blessed are those who recognize them!

Anne H. Phillips, United States, NJ
2/11/2011 3:50:11 PM
Todd is a true Christian, putting those of us without his "disability" to shame. Jesus has chosen Todd to witness for Him and he does it with a pure heart.

Michele Bricker, United States, IN
2/11/2011 3:38:46 PM
I had met this young man many years ago and before his trek to become a pastor. He is genuine.

Susan Moore, United States, WI
2/11/2011 8:08:41 AM
I wish I could meet this wonderful guy.

Vivian Blackgoat , United States, AZ
2/11/2011 5:38:25 PM
Inspiring! Thank you.

Barbara Jean Austin, Canada,
2/14/2011 8:01:42 AM
A truly inspiring story about a remarkable young man.

Valerie Reagan, United States, NY
2/6/2011 11:24:18 AM
With God, all things are possible!!

Doreen St. John, United States, FL
2/10/2011 1:54:23 PM
I am priveledged to have met Todd. I did not know of his minstry. He is quite a young man!

the sefcsik family, United States, AZ
2/12/2011 3:43:58 PM
dear todd, we are so proud of you. you have come a long way and have becomea great inspiration to our family. you are a loving person and we appreciate all that you do. we love you and miss you. your friends, the Sefcsik family

Alicia Hardesty, United States, IN
2/14/2011 2:58:54 PM
What a wonderful story about Todd. He is an inspiration to all.

Debbie Gorbics, United States, IN
2/14/2011 12:44:59 PM
I can just see him on the dock preaching his sermon. He is so loving and I know that he loves the Lord with all his heart.

Joyce Schrum, United States, IN
2/6/2011 7:27:24 AM
What a remarkable young man .

Ivan Beyeler, United States, IN
2/12/2011 2:27:02 PM
Todd is so proud of his father AND his heavenly Father

J. Harold McBraer, United States, TN
2/12/2011 8:55:16 AM
I agree with Craig Mets. Definitely!

Billie Faye Hisey, United States, FL
2/12/2011 8:14:04 AM
Great Story Todd

Laura A.Issen, United States, IN
2/12/2011 7:29:06 AM
What a blessing!

Denny Juergens, United States, IN
2/11/2011 11:29:30 PM
Jim, Nice story on Todd!! How are you? My retirement from pharma sales is going well after one year........summers in Angola and winters down here in Fort Myers. Are you still spending some time near Lake Harris up by Leesburg? Hope you are well.

Linda Brown, United States, OR
2/12/2011 4:21:31 PM
What a wonderful story!

charles wolf, United States, IN
2/16/2011 8:15:30 AM
Todd is very deserving of this honor!

Glenn Minser, United States, IN
2/18/2011 9:19:43 AM
I know Todd personally, and this is more than a touching story, it is the truth. Todd is truly a blessing and a friend.

orvan miller, United States, IN
2/16/2011 1:17:20 PM
Todd has showen me how to walk by faith.

Rhonda Kessel, United States, IN
2/16/2011 11:19:14 AM
Todd is an inspiration to Christians as well as those who have loved ones with down syndrome. Todd is very friendly and very caring of people.

Audrey Thompson, United States, IN
2/5/2011 1:28:54 PM
Awesome and deeply moving story! We love you Todd! You are truly amazing and a blessing to us all!

Nancy Plummer, United States, IN
2/19/2011 9:30:18 PM
Todd is a wonderful young man. I have know him since he was just a little boy. He gave great hugs and shared his love even then! Todd... You have grown into a wonderful "Pastor". I miss getting to see you! Give mom and dad a hug for me! Nancy

John Brier, United States, FL
2/24/2011 3:50:01 PM
I have had the pleasure of meeting Todd in person. What a wonderful young man.

Kathy Perry, United States, MA
2/5/2011 8:49:19 AM
God does look at the heart of every individual, and calls those who are willing to serve, regardless of what we may think! I am blessed to know that Todd is reaching out to lives, touching and ministering regardless of what the world thinks and says.

Helen Haddock, United States, IN
2/20/2011 3:32:31 PM
We have known Todd for many years, but have not known this particular story about him. It was very well written and we are amazed at how hard he has worked to reach his calling.

Jennifer Verbrigghe, United States, IL
2/4/2011 3:54:03 AM
Wonderful story!

Elizabeth Bower, United States, IN
2/4/2011 2:38:56 AM
I too go to church with Todd and was a Sunday School teacher for many years. His presence in the class was always a blessing.

Rene Lloyd , United States, IN
2/4/2011 12:54:43 AM
I attend the same church as Todd and it is a privlege to know him. He loves the Lord with all his heart and it is a blessing to hear him pray.

Pat Bartholomew, United States, MI
2/4/2011 9:37:37 AM
awesome

Peggy Dale, United States, SC
2/4/2011 6:15:48 AM
Wonderful illustration that God uses each and everyone who accepts his son, Jesus, to spread the Good News. This should encourage all of us to use what limited resources we have , we need only our faith and commitment. Love this story of Pastor Todd.

Sandra, United States, SC
2/4/2011 12:15:48 AM
What an amazing young man who daily follows in the footsteps of Jesus!

Judy Gaines, United States, IN
2/4/2011 6:26:40 AM
Todd is an inspiration to all of us.

Brian D. Chandler, United States, IL
2/4/2011 4:44:26 AM
I am so proud that my older brother, Pastor Todd, is able to spread the word about his love for the Lord. I have become who I am today because of Todd. I am so proud of him

Doug Nygaard, United States, IN
2/3/2011 4:36:42 PM
Very touching and inspirational story. Pastor Todd sets a good example for us to follow.

Cindy Miller, United States, IN
2/3/2011 3:05:27 PM
Beautiful story. Amazing accomplishment. Sometimes our limitations are our blessings.

ginny bankov, United States, SC
2/3/2011 2:17:16 PM
"Thank you Pastor Todd for sharing your gift with the world. You are a blessing to all."

Norma Qualls, United States, SC
2/4/2011 2:41:58 PM
That was a very inspireing story, thanks for sareing it Norma Qualls

Suzie Gaff, United States, IN
2/3/2011 10:06:10 AM
A wonderful story about a truly wonderful person. What an amazing gift that God has bestowed upon Todd. May we all be as lucky as Todd and find our own God given gift.

Tricia Molzow, United States, FL
2/3/2011 3:11:06 AM
How lucky Todd is to have found his passion in life and to be able to pursue it whole-heartedly. That is is true blessing.

Mary Heglin, United States, MI
2/2/2011 12:52:05 PM
Pastor Todd sends a lesson for us all.

Lloyd Haupricht, United States, IN
2/2/2011 12:39:11 PM
Praise God for Pastor Todd!

Jamie Witte, United States, IN
2/2/2011 9:22:06 AM
Todd is an inspiration to all and through your words he will touch many more lives. Wonderful story Mom.

Jaren Shepherd, United States, IN
2/2/2011 8:56:53 AM
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound..... Todd is an example to all! Great job, mama!

Jean Jones, United States, SC
2/1/2011 11:08:25 PM
What a beautiful story about a beautiful young man! I wish I had the opportunity to meet him. God bless you, Pastor Todd, as you continue to share your gift with others!

Becky Guinn, United States, AL
2/1/2011 10:53:59 PM
Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

Bill Allred, United States, OH
2/1/2011 9:19:08 PM
I have some friends who have Down Syndrome children. All of them I have been able to share in their life are just "AMAZING". I love sharing time with all of them. They have so much love. I would love to meet Todd Chandler. When you are willing

George Bloomquist, United States, KS
2/1/2011 8:27:43 PM
An amazing story and witness to the way God can use one man inspite of his limitations. Tremendous!

Diana Stone, United States, SC
2/1/2011 7:32:48 PM
What a wonderful love of the Lord "Pastor Todd" has. A beautiful tribute to this young man.

Rick Forschner, United States, SC
2/1/2011 7:27:51 PM
I wish I had the fervency of Pastor Todd. Thank you for sharing this.

Sandra Voegeli, United States, SC
2/1/2011 6:43:04 PM
A wonderful story. It shows the sincerity of a very special young man.

Carijane Farmer, United States, IN
2/1/2011 6:27:50 PM
This is soooo true! Pastor Todd is a blessing to all of us who know him.

Marsha Chambers, United States, OH
2/1/2011 5:50:06 PM
Wonderful and inspirational. Thanks Sandy. Love Marsha

charles lannom, United States, NC
2/1/2011 5:34:01 PM
Wonderful and moving.

Sandra Fischer, United States, SC
2/1/2011 12:18:33 PM
It was my privilege and honor to write this story about Todd Chandler and the God he loves and serves.

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