Welcome to King's Table
Because every life has value and purpose, we are dedicated to serving individuals and families impacted by developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Our vision is for individuals & families who are impacted by a developmental disability to have the opportunity to be a part of a thriving community in which they learn, live, and worship together.
We do this by providing supportive programs & enrichment opportunities in
Schools that provide special educational services to students age 5-26.
Group Homes which are essential for many adults with disabilities and
Local Churches that are committed to being a welcoming community to those impacted by disabilities.
How we began
In 1981, David Gallagher witnessed the miracle of birth with his first child. Moments into Katie's life she was proudly held in her dad's arms as he gazed upon her with great joy. This joy was only to last for moments as the doctors explained that his child would never talk, walk, or be anything but a burden – she had Down Syndrome. This young father realized he had no choice but to trust God and soon discovered the blessing this little girl would be in his life.
When Sally Gallagher was 3 years old, her sister Connie was born with what was then diagnosed as severe mental retardation. She was institutionalized at a young age, which was typical during that time. Over the years, these facilities were closed and Connie moved back home with her family. Sally always looked out for her sister and became her guardian as their parents grew older. The two sisters shared a special bond and close relationship that was life-changing for Sally. Connie passed away in 2019 and is deeply missed.
David & Sally met at church and were married in 2002. It was the common understanding of what it was like to have a loved one with a developmental disability that first connected them. David was the Director of Special Needs Ministries at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Sally was his assistant. It was in these important ministry roles that they began to work together and form the idea of starting an organization.
Katie, who defied the doctors and could certainly walk and talk up a storm, was attending a school for students with cognitive impairments. Familiar with the clothing protectors Connie used, Sally set out to provide a more dignified garment for the students at the school. To accomplish this, she turned to her own community and network of support – her church. The women in Sally’s Bible study group put together a towel drive, collecting clean linens to make new clothing protectors for the students at the school. This small act of love laid the foundation for The King’s Table Ministries.
The organization was born out of a desire to help the church reach into the community and partner with public schools that were serving students with special needs and their families. David was inspired by a story in the Bible found in 2 Samuel 9, which illustrates that there is a place for everyone, even those with a disability, at the “King's Table”.
Founder & Mentor
Nina Van Heulen
Finance Assistant & Bookkeeper
Lincoln School, Lincoln Developmental Center, Empower U
THRIVE, Early Childhood Program, Empower U
Pine Grove Learning Center & Grief Support
Jim Richter, Chair
The Vine Church
Heidi Herbruck, Secretary
Jennifer Christopher, Treasurer
Amber Koster, Executive Director
Sally Gallagher, Founder
Grand Valley State University
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)