Rev. Yates, who prefers to be called Leo, is an ordained deacon in full connection. Leo brings a variety of gifts and grace that includes counseling, a passion for deaf/disability ministry, and a love for serving. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Leo has a primary appointment at the Division of Rehabilitation Services in the role of a behavioral health specialist. His secondary appointment is here at Emmanuel UMC. Leo serves as a disability ministries coordinator. He comes with previous experience as the former chairperson of the Baltimore-Washington Conference Commission on Disability Concerns. He currently serves as the secretary for BWARM, a consultant for Global Ministries’ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries, and the secretary for the Disability Ministries Committee under the Council of Bishops. As the disability ministries coordinator at Emmanuel UMC, Rev. Leo Yates provides support and care for individuals, families, and the overall congregation that fosters the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the church. Part of his responsibility is providing interpreting services (communication access) for deaf and hard of hearing persons on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month during the 10:45am service. He also looks forward to offering sign language classes to support people learning a new language. This helps to bridge communications between non-signing persons and signing persons such as deaf and hard of hearing persons who primarily communicate through sign language.