Sunday, October 8, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Rick and Mary Matthews at Southview Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis. The congregation honored the staff for Pastor Appreciation Month and Pastor Rick brought an encouraging message on how to win the “Believer’s Greatest Battle” by overcoming doubt with enduring faith.
The primary purpose of my visit was to meet with the Shalom Christian Church, the Chin (Myanmar/formerly Burma) congregation that Southview graciously hosts. Last summer, the leadership team at Shalom Church voted to pursue full membership in the Crossroads District. Some of you will remember their choir that ministered to us at District Conference.
After preaching in their afternoon service, Pastor Benjamin Tlungloei and I held a congregational meeting to provide membership and organizational information for more than 30 prospective members. It has been a delight to get to know Pastor Benjamin and these wonderful believers who have endured so much. The picture below is Pastor Benjamin with his youngest of four children.
The final service of the day was at The River in Marion where Pastor Matthew Trexler and his team were celebrating the 10th anniversary of this ministry. From a vision in Matthew and Nicole’s heart to their living room, to a fitness center, and finally settling in at Lincoln Elementary, the story of The River is a continuing adventure of bold faith and compassionate service.
The River has reached out to Mongolia and Albania and serve thousands of people in Marion every Christmas in “The Big Give.” It was exciting to hear the future focus of expanding their facility to serve more people in this location and the first public announcement of their plan to launch a campus in Peru (Indiana) next fall. In addition to leading The River, I’m grateful for Pastor Matthew’s willingness to serve as our Assistant District Superintendent for Region 1.
Last week began at The River on Monday morning as nearly 70 pastors and staff members gathered for our Region 1 fall meeting. It was a special blessing to have Dr. David Smith, IWU professor, lead us through a study of John 13 and then administer communion. David is such a gifted communicator and encourager. We are blessed to have him right here at IWU and I know your congregation would be enriched by his ministry.
Monday afternoon, I participated in Professor Mark Wilson’s class at Southern Wesleyan University through the wonders of technology. His pastoral ministries students are using “Lead Like Wesley” as one of their textbooks and we had an engaging conversation about lessons from John Wesley’s leadership.
Monday evening, I was in New Castle to connect with Pastor Steve Arnett and his family at the funeral home visitation. Our prayers and sympathy are extended to the Arnett family as they grieve their loss of Mrs. Phyllis Arnett, beloved mother and grandmother.
Tuesday morning, I met with Dr. Colleen Derr, our new president at Wesley Seminary, and learned more about the new direction she’s taking the seminary. So many of our pastors have already been blessed by the exceptional education and affordable tuition that Wesley Seminary offers. If you’ve been thinking about graduate studies in ministry, Wesley Seminary should be your first consideration.
Tuesday afternoon, Assistant District Superintendent Rev. Mike Colaw welcomed nearly 40 pastors and staff to Trinity Wesleyan Church (Allisonville Road campus) for the Region 2 fall gathering. Josh Lavender led our time of worship and Pastor Mike Hewitt shared updates from the church planting project in Muncie.
Region 3, led by Assistant DS Chris Williams, met in Rochester at The Cross on Wednesday afternoon. It was encouraging to hear how God is working in the northwest region of our district with reports from our established churches and the new projects in Merrillville and South Bend.
Thursday and Friday, I represented our district at the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees at Indiana Wesleyan University. These are good days at IWU with one of the strongest incoming classes in recent history. We did have sneak peak behind the scenes as the new football stadium moves toward completion.
There were wonderful reports of God at work on campus through AWAKEN and we heard a powerful testimony from one of the new football recruits. Dr. David Wright is doing an amazing job as our president and counts on our prayers for wisdom as he leads the team at IWU.
Saturday morning, I dropped in on the Region 2 DBMD meeting in Indianapolis. I’m grateful for the many pastors and lay people who serve on the ministerial development teams across our district working with close to 100 candidates moving toward ordination. They take this role seriously, investing prayer and concern for each student.
I was delighted to receive the report from Beech Grove Wesleyan Church were Pastor Bill Carpenter baptized 5 new believers yesterday. Pastor Bill and Mary have faithfully served the Beech Grove congregation for many years and are now looking forward to retirement. The congregation has reached out to Noblesville Lakeview Wesleyan Church and a ministry partnership is developing that will enable Pastor Bill to conclude his service knowing that the church is in good hands.
Pastor Richard and Debbie Cole were honored last evening at Daybreak Church in Lapel as they transition to retirement. The Cole’s have served at Daybreak since launching the church 20 years ago. Family and friends gathered to pay tribute and express appreciation for the many years of faithful and effective ministry. Daybreak voted yesterday morning to call Dr. Joe Harmon as their new senior pastor and we’re excited to welcome Dr. Joe back to the Crossroads District team!
Level 13 Church in Fort Wayne concluded their pastoral search yesterday calling Rev. Heath Croft as their new leader. Heath and his family will be moving from Montgomery, Alabama where he’s been serving on staff at Mulder United Methodist Church. We’re looking forward to welcoming Heath and his family to Indiana and the Crossroads District!
Please remember Mr. Ed Hoover, our dear brother in Christ, in your prayers as he wrestles with continuing health concerns. Rev. Lloyd Moore continues to await a liver transplant and needs your prayers.
Just a reminder that our Crossroads District Youth Leaders (all paid and volunteer staff) will be meeting on Wednesday, October 11, at Buffalo Wild Wings in Marion (11:30 – 1:30). You can find more information on the “Crossroads District Youth Leaders” FaceBook page.
Our fall meeting of the District Board of Administration will be held this Thursday, 1 p.m., at Abbey Coffee in Marion. Your prayers are appreciated!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,