Jeff & Jacqui Banta

Jeff and Jacqui have been married for thirteen years. They met and married in SLO. Although they have moved around the state for various ministry opportunities, they always seem to make their way back to the central coast. They have four children; Elijah 12, Jeffrey 11, Madelyn 8 and Eden 4. They enjoy hiking, going to the beach and barbecuing any chance they get! At times they feel like they are a “typical” family but usually are reminded they often times stand out! Their second born son, Jeffrey, is on the Autism Spectrum and they have been actively involved in the special needs community for several years. Currently, Jeff is the Team Leader for a mobile crisis response team for San Luis County and north Santa Barbara County (contracted through tri-counties regional center), serving 1,300 individuals with developmental disabilities whom regularly cycle through crisis. He leads a team of 5 counselors available 24/7 primarily focusing on developing healthy coping skills, and suicide prevention/ intervention. Jeff has a BA in Religion and a Masters in Divinity through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Jacqui is a Director for Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County, a non-profit serving low-income and underrepresented children in the community by providing subsidized child care. She oversees all child care provider education— which involves developing higher education modules including special needs inclusion trainings based off of her experience as a behavioralist and her BA in Psychology and her Masters in Human Services Counseling through Liberty University.    Jeff and Jacqui have a special needs support group with over fourteen-hundred families they have met throughout the years. In previous ministries, they ran a special needs classroom with several children with various needs and made inclusion efforts with their typical peers on Sundays. Parents often shared that it was the first time they were able to attend church. Every year Jeff and Jacqui do a Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt/ BBQ at Spyglass Park in Pismo with over 200 people in attendance. It is one of their favorite things to do as many special needs children and families find traditional Easter Egg hunts overwhelming and they may not be able to participate due to their needs.   Jeff and Jacqui have a passion to serve the special needs community in ways that fit their needs! This is an overlooked and “cast aside” population that is all around us! Many families cannot participate in church due to their child’s needs and Jeff and Jacqui would like to prevent that from being a barrier. We all belong!