Sunday morning, March 25, I had the joy of worshiping with Rev. Joe & Nancy Park and the fine folks at Evergreen Wesleyan Church in Lafayette. It was good to catch the Sunday School lesson that Pastor Joe was teaching. I brought the message in the morning service and then met with the LBA to conduct Rev. Park’s extended call review. The LBA unanimously reaffirmed the extended call with glowing commendations for Pastor Joe’s devoted service to God and the congregation. Nancy and Joe joined me for lunch after the LBA meeting. It was encouraging to see the progress at Evergreen with the new parking lot completed and a growing number of children attending.
Last week began with our regular Monday morning staff meeting, followed by lunch with Rev. Donny Howell (of Awaken Ministries). I was in Anderson on Monday afternoon to meet with Rev. Charles (Eddie) Purciful (pastor of North Anderson Wesleyan Church) and then finished up the day with Rev. Paul Kirk and the LBA at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church for a helpful conversation about membership reaffirmation.
(Just a timely reminder of the helpful resources, found here Membership Renewal, that are provided by our CMAD team at Wesleyan World Headquarters as tools for your LBA to complete your membership reaffirmation. The voting membership for your annual Local Church Conference is comprised of those who have reaffirmed their membership for the coming year by April 30. That’s also the number that you’ll record for membership in the denomination’s annual statistical report.)
Tuesday’s schedule included coaching conversations with Rev. Duane Seitz (Silver Lake Wesleyan Church), Rev. Jerry Alexander (Anderson Central Wesleyan Church) and Rev. Clifton Ashlock (Anderson United Wesleyan Church).
Rev. Allen Laws (Warren Wesleyan Church) and I met on Wednesday morning at Son-Rise Bakery (recommended!) in Warren for our coaching conversation. My next meeting was via Zoom technology as Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent and a dozen other district superintendents connected for our monthly update. Wednesday afternoon, I met with Olivia Eckart and two of her ministerial student classmates at IWU for a discussion about what a district superintendency in The Wesleyan Church entails.
Wednesday evening, I was at Davis Wesleyan Church (near Hamlet) to meet with Pastor Bill Dixon and the LBA. Pastor Bill has announced his intention to resign at the end of this conference year so we met to begin the pastoral search process.
Thursday morning, I met with Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mt. Zion) for our annual coaching conversation. I stopped by the HQ office in Fishers just in time to receive an invitation to their annual chili cook-off. The fellowship and food were both appreciated. My table group included Kevin Batman, Debra Levite, Bob Haymond, and Ron & Carol McClung. Congratulations to Mrs. Carol McClung for taking home the prize!
Thursday afternoon, I joined with Rev. Jon Wiest and the Discipleship Cohort he’s leading for our district. It is encouraging to hear about the intentional steps that are being taken across our team to raise the level of engagement in discipleship. We also have two excellent discipleship ministry training events coming up. The first is the Festival on Discipleship hosted by College Wesleyan Church in Marion on May 14-15. The second will be an event hosted by Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis on October 1-2 led by Jon Wiest and the Crossroads District Discipleship Cohort. I’m also looking forward to reading Jon’s new book (Banding Together) which should be released before the event.
Pastor Charles Moorer (Indy Divine Direction) and I met for our annual coaching conversation over supper on Thursday evening and then I finished up the day joining more than 200 IWU students in the University Commons for their weekly AWAKEN service led by Garrett Howell and his team. It was encouraging to see the passionate worship and to hear how God is blessing this outreach to other universities across our state. Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis is working with AWAKEN to extend this ministry to the IUPUI downtown campus.
Friday morning, I met with Pastor Alan Downing for an update on the progress that Frankfort First Wesleyan is making on their Maximizing Impact consultation. Then, on Friday evening, Sherry joined me for the Crossroads District SAM (Senior Adult Ministries) Banquet hosted by Randall Hudson and his team. Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan was the host site and special music was provided by the 3rd Row Boys from Indianapolis. Randall and his team do a great job in pulling together this event, with an upcoming day-trip to Shipshewana in July and a wonderful fall bus tour planned to Williamsburg, VA. Details here: SAM Fall Bus Tour
ReEquip Conference (REGISTER FOR REEQUIP) is less than 30 days away! The leadership development team listened to your feedback and designed this one-day, centrally-located, affordable training event for our Crossroads District pastors and local church team members (i.e. board members, discipleship directors, small group leaders). Don’t miss this chance to sharpen your team as you prepare for a great season of harvest this fall!
Please remember to pray for Pastor Michael and Kim Hewitt and the team they are leading at Muncie’s new Rising Hope Church this Easter Sunday as they host their first preview service in the pavilion at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. If you have friends or relatives in Muncie that don’t have a church home, please copy and forward this YouTube invitation video: Rising Hope
We’re excited to welcome new team members joining the Crossroads District in the coming conference year. Rev. Zack Working and Rev. Carla Working have accepted the DBA’s appointment as the new Lead Pastor and Assistant Pastor, respectively, at Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church in Huntington. Huntington is Zach’s hometown.
Dr. Jim Lo, Lead Pastor at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church, has invited Rev. Jeremy Armiger to join him as Assistant Pastor. Jeremy and his family have recently been serving in the Florida District but call the Crossroads District their home.
As you prepare for Easter Sunday, take a moment to review this resource from Carey Nieuwhof that outlines some of the common mistakes we make as we welcome people to our churches: Carey Nieuwhof article
Praying that this Easter Sunday is a powerful time of impact for your church as we proclaim the Gospel of our Risen Savior and Returning King!
Your servant in Christ,
Mark Gorveatte, District Superintendent
Sunday, March 18, Sherry and I were privileged to worship with Pastor Charles and Crystal Moorer at Divine Direction Christian Church in Indianapolis. This congregation meets in what was formerly known as the Northside Wesleyan Church building on 46th Street. Pastor Charles is bi-vocational, leading a thriving business and volunteering his time and energy to leading this predominantly African American congregation.
Their ministries include a pre-school, juvenile detention outreach, and a Back-to-School Backpack Jam. Pastor Moorer is also an accomplished musician who leads their worship ministry called “Faithful Few.” Here’s a link to a sample of their music: Faithful Few on YouTube
The worship service at Divine Direction begins at 11:30 so Sherry and I were able to drop in on Waterline, our home church, for their 9:30 service as Pastor John Freed preached on Anger. It’s a joy to be part of a congregation that is committed to making disciples and multiplying churches!
Sunday afternoon, I was in Huntington at Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church as we took the next step in the pastoral transition. The Advisory Team had recommended a candidate couple and we held a congregational meeting to meet and interview the prospective leaders. There was a wonderful spirit in the meeting with those present voting 29-1 to request the DBA to appoint this couple to lead into a new season of ministry.
Last week included coaching conversations with Dr. Max Kingsolver (Knightstown), Pastor Keith Jones (Crawfordsville), Rev. Paul Walden (Muncie 18th Street) and Dr. David Anderson (Fountain City Wesleyan).
Sherry traveled with me to Asbury Theological Seminary on Wednesday. I conducted interviews on Thursday with two of our Crossroads District students studying there and two ministry candidates interested in service with our district. While in Wilmore, we were able to connect with Dr. Matthew and Nancy Sleeth (http://www.blessedearth.org/).
Wednesday evening, we attended a public seminar led by Dr. Sleeth on the significance of trees in the Bible, a sneak preview of his upcoming book. They also graciously hosted us for supper on Thursday evening. Many of you will know them from their work on Sabbath Living (http://sabbathliving.org/ ) and Matthew’s book: 24/6
We were back in Indiana on Friday in time to join with Pastor Johnnie and Pastor Amanda Blair for the home-going celebration for Rev. Johnnie Blair, Sr. It really was an inspiring service testifying to a life well-lived and a legacy of faith left in his family that is serving the God that Rev. Blair loved.
Our prayers and sympathies are also extended to Pastor Steve DeNeff and the other members of the family of Mrs. Evelyn DeNeff. Rev. Chris Williams represented the district team at her funeral service on Thursday, March 15.
Friday evening, I was able to take in the “Apologetics and Apple Pie” seminar hosted by Dr. Ken Schenck at IWU with Dr. Jerry Walls (guest lecturer) and Dr. Scott Burson (IWU professor) discussing the philosophical arguments for the existence of God. They co-authored a book on C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaffer. It was encouraging to see a full house of IWU ministerial students out on Friday night for an apologetics seminar!
Don’t delay! Register today! You and your leadership team won’t want to miss the 2018 ReEquip workshops with Professor Mark Wilson, Rev. Ron Wickard and Matthew DePrez coming up on April 21 in Marion, Indiana. The price is right. The location is convenient. The time is now. Make tracks, not excuses! REGISTER FOR REEQUIP
There’s still time to register your youth group for Fusion 2018, April 6-7 at Indiana Wesleyan University! FUSION at IWU
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Sunday, March 11, I had the privilege of worshiping at Harvest Church in McCordsville. Pastor Brad and Heidi LeRoy have done an amazing work in planting and establishing this life-giving church on the east side of Indianapolis. Last year they averaged 292 in worship with 36 professions of faith and 22 baptisms. Many of you will know that Pastor Brad has persevered through significant health struggles. Continue to pray for strength and a full recovery as Harvest Church advances the Kingdom!
It was also fun to catch up with Rev. Wayne Richards (Habitat for Missions) and then with Rev. Gwen Jackson, author of Unforced Rhythms, who had just returned from Bangladesh and the ordination of Rev. Joshe Bose, the leader of that church planting movement. Gwen and Dr. Dennis Jackson attend Harvest when they’re not traveling on behalf of Global Partners.
I know the Jackson’s appreciate the church for many reasons but at least one of those reasons is that Harvest is the home church for their grandchildren because Mike Morgan, their son-in-law, does a great job leading the church’s worship ministry. If you haven’t ordered it yet, check out Gwen’s book at http://www.unforcedrhythmsbook.com
On the way to Harvest, I stopped by The First Wesleyan Church building in Knightstown. The congregation has dwindled down to a handful of wonderful people who love the Lord and love each other. They anticipate concluding the ministry at the end of this conference year. Knightstown is not a large community but there are still 5,000 people in the zip code. Please join me in prayer for what God has in store for Knightstown.
Rev. John and Danielle Freed, pastors at Waterline Church, hosted the Crossroads District Church Planter Training Center (or Boot Camp, as it’s affectionally called) at HQ on Friday and Saturday for 18 leaders who are actively considering launching a new Kingdom community. John and Danielle do a great job serving our team by leading this training event and coaching planters. This opportunity is offered at least twice each year and you don’t have to be an ordained minister to learn more about church planting. A great first step in exploring church planting is the free pre-assessment that we offer on our district website: Crossroads District Church Planter Pre-Assessment
Last Monday, I was in Anderson to connect with Rev. Bill Thompson, then on to Elwood to meet with Rev. Doug Slack before heading over to Colfax Wesleyan to meet with their LBA and begin the pastoral search process.
Tuesday morning, I hit the road for coaching conversations with Pastor David Cox (Laketon Wesleyan), Pastor Jarod Osborne (Warsaw Wesleyan) and then with Pastor Rick Fletcher (Lifeway Wesleyan) in Fort Wayne. My last meeting on Tuesday was with Pastor Tom Bradley and the leadership team at Huntington Etna Avenue. We were able to interview a prospective candidate who meets with the entire congregation on March 18.
Wednesday, I was in Indianapolis for a meeting with Assistant DS Mike Colaw in preparation for the DBA meeting and then on to Albion Wesleyan Church for prayer meeting and to connect with their LBA team in beginning the pastoral search process. Pastor Joe Allen resigned and continues to need our prayers for ongoing health concerns including a surgery last Friday and follow-up surgery scheduled for April.
Your Crossroads District Board of Administration met in Marion at the River Church on Thursday. We were missing a couple of our members, including Coach Jeff Clark who was unable to be present due to IWU Men’s Basketball advancing in the playoffs. Dr. Norman Wilson set a new record by joining us via technology from Costa Rica.
Among the highlights of our meeting were interviewing prospective church planters for Speedway and for Pendleton. Both projects came recommended from their respective zones (Indy and Madison County) so it was a joy for the DBA to approve and affirm these leaders to launch 2 new Kingdom communities. It was also encouraging to see the high level of participation in USF, pulling ahead of last year to date. Thank you to each of you as leaders who are making this team contribution a priority.
Friday morning, I was in Fishers to meet with a prospective church planter referred to me by Dr. Lenny Luchetti from the doctoral program at Wesley Seminary. Continue to pray that God will send out workers into His harvest field! (Matthew 9:37-38)
Friday evening, Sherry and I had the privilege of welcoming lead pastors and spouses from the North Zone of Region 3, led by Rev. Don Bayne (New Carlisle). The group was a little smaller than usual with others having calendar challenges but it’s always an honor to spend an evening in fellowship and prayer with these soldiers of the Cross!
Special prayer requests this week for two of our pastoral families. Rev. Steve DeNeff’s mother passed away on Saturday and Rev. Johnnie Blair’s father passed away on Sunday afternoon. Both of these saints were faithful servants of Christ and the Church. Funeral arrangements have not been announced at the time of this post but will be forwarded to our district team as soon as possible.
April 21 is just over 4 weeks away and I can’t wait to see you and your leadership team at ReEquip 2018! Yes, the location is convenient, the price is affordable and the training is invaluable. Don’t miss Professor Mark Wilson (http://markowilson.com/), Pastor Ron Wickard, and Fuller Youth Institute’s Matthew DePrez all live and in person for this one-day event. Here’s the link to register your team today: http://www.reequipconference.org/
Save the dates:
April 9-11 – Crossroads District Regional Meetings
May 14-15 – Festival on Discipleship at College Wesleyan
June 22 – Ordination (all credential ministers are expected)
June 23 – Crossroads District Conference
August 9-10 – Global Leadership Summit
October 1-2 – Crossroads District Disciple-Making Workshop
November 6-7 – Exponential Regional Conference in Chicago
January 9-11 – THE GATHERING (Orlando)
Keep on pressing on!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Sunday morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Tom and Jane Bradley at Huntington Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church. It was a special delight to be there for Pastor Tom’s 71st birthday and to lead the congregation in singing “Happy Birthday” for him. I also had the joy of meeting Pastor Tom’s 91-year-old mother and other family members.
Pastor Tom is completing 11 years of ministry marked by his strong gift of personal soul-winning. He has had the privilege of baptizing 75 new believers in those 11 years. While he is stepping away from full-time ministry at Etna Avenue this June, we’re looking forward to seeing how God blesses this new chapter in Pastor Tom’s ministry of reaching people for Jesus. They’re already working on building a new home and spending some more time assisting Pastor Marc and Heather (Bradley) Ulrich with the ReThink Church plant in Merrillville.
I welcome your prayers as I meet with Etna Avenue’s leadership team on Tuesday evening to review their progress with the Maximizing Impact implementation under way and commencing the search for their next pastor.
We really do believe that our churches can become more effective through prayer and through Holy Spirit-anointed ministry with an intentional focus on disciple-making and multiplication. We have two primary resources available to Crossroads District churches in our Maximizing Impact consultation team and StratOp, a strategic operations planning process first introduced to our district by Tony Morgan’s UnStuck Group.
This weekend (Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday afternoon) I was able sit in with two of our congregations who were taking their first steps with our StratOp process. Rev. Jason Tash was working with Pastor Ryan Budde and a leadership team at Westview Wesleyan Church in Jonesboro. Rev. Matthew Trexler, with assistance from Rev. Chris Williams, was working with Pastor Tony Bye and a leadership team at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. These weekends are a lot of work for the teams but it is exciting to see how God brings clarity and unity through the process.
The national Exponential Conference was held in Orlando last week. Chris Williams and I joined with a strong delegation from our district among the 420 Wesleyan leaders who gathered for this premier event focused on disciple-making and church multiplication. The Wesleyan Church hosted a shoulder event that was well-attended and featured inspiring stories of what God is doing across our denomination.
Special guests, including General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt and Will Mancini, founder of the Auxano Group, challenged us to be churches that are intentionally focused on working to see lives and communities transformed by the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ until The Wesleyan Church has a transforming presence in every zip code.
We are making plans for our district team to take advantage of Exponential’s MidWest Regional Conference in Chicago, November 6-7, 2018. For all the details, check out their website: https://exponential.org/events/2018chi/ The location is convenient, the price is affordable and the impact is eternal!
We have received the reports from the pastoral votes for Rev. Logan Patriquin at Lafayette Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan and Rev. Lyle Breeding at Bluffton Sonlight Wesleyan Church. Both votes were extremely positive and both pastors have announced their intention to accept these 4-year calls. Bluffton Sonlight hosted their first Maximizing Impact weekend last year and Schuyler Avenue is hosting their Maximizing Impact consultation next weekend. It is encouraging to see the progress in both of these congregations!
Special prayers were going up this weekend as Pastor Logan and Shaina Patriquin’s daughter, Emery, was hospitalized with what appears to have been the flu. She is responding to treatment and we are expecting to hear that she has been released to go home today (Monday).
Pastor searches are underway at Greenfield Brown’s Chapel, Colfax Wesleyan and Huntington Etna Avenue (as noted above). Brown’s Chapel has already posted their opening on the denominational website: The Wesleyan Church
Colfax and Etna Avenue are both developing churches so their new pastors will be DBA appointments in consultation with the local leadership teams. I will be meeting with the Colfax leadership team this evening (Monday). Your prayers are needed and your nominations are welcomed.
Don’t miss it! ReEquip, April 21, is fast approaching! Register your leadership group and next generation ministries team members today! http://www.reequipconference.org/
One final and encouraging note: Pastor Dan Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan) reported that 14 people responded to the invitation for prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit yesterday morning. Praise the Lord! We still believe that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead can cleanse us, fill us, empower us, and keep us!
Your servant in Christ,