Fairmount Family Camp wrapped up on Sunday evening, July 29, with Dr. David Smith bringing the final message and Rev. Chris Williams leading the congregation in celebrating the Lord’s Supper. The week was filled with strong Bible teaching from Dr. David Smith and Dr. Brenda Young.
Pastor Jordan Rife and the College Wesleyan Church arts team did a terrific job leading in worship. Mrs. Angela Spangler and her team were gracious hosts to this family camp experience that connected with four generations. Thank you to Mr. David Tippey (Board Chair), the Fairmount Camp Board, Dr. Rich Schenck (Director), and the Fairmount Family Camp Committee for offering this wonderful opportunity for deepening relationships with God, family, and friends. Mark your calendar for July 21-28, 2019!
Sunday morning, I was able to worship with Sherry at Waterline, our home church, with Rev. Damian and Anne Williams, founders of Leadership League. The Williams were generous donors to our church revitalization efforts when we first started in Indiana and it was a joy to introduce them to more of our district team. It was a special morning at Waterline as Pastor Danielle Freed thanked the interns from this summer and introduced two church planting residents for the coming year.
In addition to taking part in several services at Fairmount Family Camp, last week’s schedule included signing legal documents, our weekly staff meeting, hospital visitation, interviewing a prospective church planter in Indianapolis, being interviewed by Dr. Ed Love for his Wesleyan Seminary class, connecting with Pastor Nicholas Zarate in Cicero, meeting with Pastor Don Bayne and Pastor Tom Cochran in Michiana, connecting with Rev. Terry and Lennaire Vaughn about potential meeting locations for The Bridge church plant in South Bend, and a planning session with Duffy Smith via ZOOM.
One of the highlights of the week was joining Pastor Jarod & Esther Osborne in Warsaw to host a team of Hispanic church planters from northern Indiana led by Rev. Eliorgy Guerrero. We have one new church that has launched in Elkhart, another potential partner in Goshen, and the possibility of planters for Warsaw and South Bend. These are exciting developments as God answers our prayers for workers for the Harvest!
Our sympathies and prayers are extended to Mrs. Patsy Fletcher, Dallas and Marty, and the extended Fletcher family at the loss of Rev. Steve Fletcher, pastor of Nelson Street Wesleyan Church in Marion. Pastor Fletcher had battled with health complications for many years and had been hospitalized for more than a week. He passed away early on Wednesday morning. The visitation was held at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon and the memorial service is scheduled for Monday morning at Fairmount Wesleyan Church. Obituary for Rev. Steve Fletcher
Congratulations to Pastor Mick and Melanie Veach on their 2nd Anniversary from the planting of Mosaic Midtown Church, a disciple-making church in Detroit, Michigan. Mick was discipled at Marion Lakeview Church by Dwight Robertson and is another of our many Crossroads family members making an impact for Christ!
There’s still time to register for the Global Leadership Summit. Both Fountain City Wesleyan Church and Marion College Wesleyan Church are host sites for the simulcast. We’d love to have you join us for this premiere event for leadership development. Here’s the link to register: https://www.willowcreek.com/rega/#/reg/select
Speaking of leaders, hats off to Rev. Duane Seitz for courageously leading the charge at Silver Lake Wesleyan Church. Pastor Seitz has committed to personally knocking on all the 366 doors in their small community. This past week he completed visit number 192. Thank you, Pastor Seitz for reminding us that if you plan your work and work your plan, your plan will work!
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Fairmount Family Camp kicked off yesterday with Dr. Brenda Young, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Akron, Ohio, an exciting multi-campus ministry (https://www.cornerstonechurch.info/who-we-are/) and she’s also the founder/CEO of Clear Blue Global Water Project. There are Bible studies in the morning and the worship services begin each evening at 7 p.m. Dr. David Smith will finish out the week as family and friends from across Indiana reconnect at this historic campground.
Pastor Jordan Rife and her team from College Wesleyan did an incredible job of leading us in worship. I was able to participate in the worship service last evening as we shared in the Lord’s Supper. Angela Spangler, Executive Director, and her team do a great job of leading this camping ministry into a bright new future.
Sunday, July 22, I preached in the morning worship service at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church. After the service I met with the LBA as they continue their pastoral search. This is wonderful congregation positioned for Kingdom impact in their community. Please join us in praying for God’s direction as they seek the person that God is preparing to lead in this next season of ministry.
Sunday afternoon, I visited with Rev. Steve Fletcher, pastor of Marion Nelson Street Wesleyan, who remains in critical condition week after being admitted to Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. Pastor Steve has battled health complications for years. There is little that the doctors can do at this point and what Steve needs is nothing less than a miracle. Please join us in praying for Pastor Steve, Patsy and their family.
Sherry and I returned from California on the red-eye flight on Monday night from San Diego to Indianapolis arriving back in time on Tuesday morning for me to connect with our district team for our Tuesday staff meeting.
Wednesday morning, I met with Assistant DS Chris Williams and the terrific team that led District Conference and Ordination for an opportunity to debrief. We had a great team of volunteers again this year who helped make these gatherings possible. Special thanks to Chip Bos and Michael Wood for doing an amazing job again with our technology.
I dropped in on Rev. Fletcher on Wednesday afternoon at the hospital. Steve was resting after a tough morning but I was able to connect and pray with Patsy and Marty.
Pastor Michael Hewitt and I met at the remodeling project site for Rising Hope, Muncie’s newest church. The youth center project was nearing completion with a fantastic team of student volunteers from Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. Special thanks to Rev. David Hines for his leadership with this partnership project!
Wednesday evening, Assistant DS Matthew Trexler and I met with the leadership team at Wabash North Wesleyan Church. Rev. Timothy Witte recently concluded his service with the church and Rev. Rodger Smith has been supplying the pulpit.
Dr. David Smith, chair of our DBMD, led a video conference call on Thursday morning with our team to plan our first Crossroads DBMD Retreat this August 3 and 4. Leadership development is one of the three strategic initiatives of the Crossroads District. The DBMD really is the tip of the spear for our leadership development process as they invest in the women and men who are sensing God’s call to vocational ministry.
I drove to Lexington, KY on Thursday afternoon at the invitation of Rev. Aaron Sherman, District Superintendent of the Kentucky-Tennessee District. Their DBA welcomed representatives from each district in the Heartland Collective to their annual year-end dinner on Thursday and and then we were interviewed at the district conference on Friday morning. It is a joy to serve alongside with Rev. Sherman, Rev. Les Crossfield (Great Ohio) and Dr. Mark Eckart (Indiana South) in this new partnership.
There were encouraging reports at the conference of churches that are being revitalized, restarted, and planted in the KY-TN District under Rev. Sherman’s leadership. Kevin Batman, General Treasurer, was also there as denominational representative for their annual conference. Kevin became a valued partner as the district worked its way out of significant financial difficulties and he affirmed the tremendous progress they’ve made.
I arrived back from Kentucky on Friday evening in time to drop in on the block party that Rising Hope Church was hosting in Muncie. The youth center was complete and the place was hopping with children and teens. The donations from the Fairmount youth campers, generously matched by Waterline Church, and the hands-on investment of the Brookhaven Wesleyan Church youth group made this transformation a reality.
Saturday morning, several of us jumped in on the DISPERSE church planting conference hosted by Pastor Gregg Paris and the team at Union Chapel Ministries. The worship team from Rising Hope led the music for the main sessions with a guest speaker roster that included leaders like Steve Sjogren (Conspiracy of Kindness).
Pastor Gregg has served at Union Chapel for 38 years, leading it from a church of 70 people in a cornfield to a city-impacting ministry with a vision and strategy to plant 100 churches in the next 10 years. I’m looking forward to having Pastor Gregg connect with our pastors this fall.
In other exciting news from across the district, Dr. Jim Lo and the team at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church celebrated 5 baptisms on Sunday morning with 88 in attendance. Each of those baptized were unchurched teenagers that the team has reached out to their midweek ministry. Four of the students had parents or family members attend with them yesterday for the first-time visit. Praise the Lord for the progress at Parkview!
It’s time to register for the Gathering 2019! More than just a conference, the Gathering is a reunion of ministry family and friends. A sabbath for our souls. Coming together to stop, rest, pray, play and thrive. A chance to celebrate what God is doing in our lives and ministry through meals, stories, inspiration and worship. We want you to be there so the Crossroads District is providing matching grants for 50% of the registration to churches who are helping their pastors take advantage of this event. Beginning August 1, any matching grants that have not been taken by solo/senior pastors become available on a first-come, first-served basis to assistant pastors and ministerial staff members. Here’s the link to register: THE GATHERING
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
This week’s team update is a guest post by Chris Williams, one of the Assistant District Superintendents in the Crossroads District.
As you know, summer is in full-swing. I hope that you are enjoying this season and that you are finding time to get away with your family for times of fun and rest. Here are a few things from the summer schedule to keep on your radar screen.
Summer means camping season and we have heard great reports from youth camps and kids camps happening across our district. Our district team visited Fairmount Camp this past week to check in on the kids camp happening there. With nearly 200 kids in attendance, Michele Henry and her team did an excellent job of helping the campers encounter God and respond to his work in their lives in an atmosphere that was full of fun and meaningful experiences for all of the participants. I was moved by the response of kids stepping out and going to the altar during the commitment time at the Wednesday evening rally. May God continue to work in the next generation stirring their hearts to be fully devoted to him!
Global Leadership Summit
Whether at church, school, business or home, you are leading people and projects every day. You’re leading in a culture that is constantly changing and redefining itself. Leadership takes perseverance, dedication and a commitment to stretch your mind, expand your heart and use your God-given gifts to impact your world in real and powerful ways.
The Global Leadership Summit, the Willow Creek Association’s annual world-class leadership event is one of the most accessible and affordable opportunities for leadership development available anywhere. On August 9-10, 2018 you’re invited to gather with thousands of leaders across North America for The Global Leadership Summit. Commit now to be a part of this annual event designed to deliver fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content from a world-class faculty.
There are locations where you can attend this event all across our district, but one of our own churches is a premier host site. College Wesleyan Church in Marion is an official satellite location for the GLS 2018.
To register or learn more, visit collegewes.com/gls
Last Chance to Host a Maximizing Impact Weekend This Fall
We have set aside four dates for Maximizing Impact Weekends this fall and are fast approaching the deadline to secure those dates with our lead consultant. If your church is interested in hosting a Maximizing Impact Weekend this fall, you will need to reserve your date by the end of July.
The remaining dates are:
After July 31 the remaining dates for the fall will be released back to our lead consultant so he can have the opportunity to book those dates with another church or district.
If you are ready to reserve your date, complete the application HERE. Please feel free to contact me with questions or if you need additional information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sunday, July 8, I had the privilege of preaching at Albion Wesleyan Church. Rev. Mark Schnell has agreed to be their interim pastor and will begin serving in that capacity on August 12 while he continues his doctoral studies and teaching load at IWU.
After the worship service, I met briefly with the leadership team before heading on to Elkhart. I appreciate the way that Brian Frick, vice chair, and the leadership team members have stepped up to move the church forward in this season of transition.
It was a joy to connect again with Pastor Eliorgy Guerrero and the wonderful team at Cielos Abiertos, our newest Wesleyan congregation. They have moved from the basement in Pastor Guerrero’s home to a downtown Elkhart location they’re sharing with a UMC church plant. It was a privilege to share in their worship and bring the message. After the service, Rev. Guerrero introduced me to some of the leaders who bring strong pastoral experience with them from Venezuela. They are just getting started but already have a vision for multiplication!
I was able to make the Sunday evening opening rally at Frankfort Family Camp to hear Rev. Mark Wilson, evangelism professor at Southern Wesleyan University. Pastor Mark and I have been friends since 1995 and it is always good to hear him preach the Word. Rev. Don McDowell was recognized for his 50th consecutive year serving on staff at Frankfort Camp. Services continue through next Sunday with Rev. Wilson and Rev. Mark Murphy, a Nazarene evangelist, sharing the preaching schedule. Phil and Ronda Foley are doing a great job leading this ministry forward. Pray that God will bless those who have gathered there this week!
Last Monday, after completing the team update, I joined Pastor Matthew Stewart for lunch and then enjoyed watching the national Wesleyan Bible Bowl competition at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Rev. Stewart is the area director with two teams competing from Sweetser Wesleyan Church and Rev. Randy Yaryan brought another strong team from Winchester Union Street Wesleyan. Both Randy and Matthew serve as quiz masters. Congratulations to Dillon, Pastor Stewart’s son, for winning the individual championship with its significant scholarship. Columbus Cypress Wesleyan won the national team competition.
I made a trip to Lafayette on Tuesday (and again on Friday) for vehicle repair. Still working to solve the issue but used the waiting time for catching up on reading (finished “The CEO Next Door”) and writing prayer and thank you notes.
Wednesday, Sherry and I enjoyed a quiet 4th of July at home hosting her parents. It was exciting to read about the ways that our district churches lean into these holidays to connect with their community. Lifeway Church in Fort Wayne hosted approximately 700 people for their annual July 4th festival and fireworks.
It’s been a strong summer at Lifeway Church with 17 new members added in the new conference year (8 more are attending membership classes) and 20 people serving on short-term missions. They’re planning an August 17 “Friend Day” to kick off their fall ministry season with a goal of 300!
Thursday, I was in Knightstown to meet with Rev. Dennis Kinser about future possibilities for ministry in this community. Dennis has a real heart for the area and the DBA unanimously appointed him to serve as the pastor for the existing congregation and a green light to explore creative options beyond the building. Thursday afternoon, I was in Sheridan to meet with a potential candidate for the Six Point Church. Pastor Steve Martin was able to meet with us in the middle of packing for his move to North Carolina.
Friday evening, Sherry and I met with Pastor Terry and Lennaire Vaughn in Fort Wayne. It was good to take time connect as they are in the full court press to get ready for launching The Bridge in South Bend this fall. Please pray for our church planting leadership couples who have all the stresses of pastoral ministry without the supportive team and existing structures of an established church. Saturday evening, Sherry and I met with Rev. Dr. Joe and Kathy Harmon. It is a joy to have the Harmon’s back in Indiana where they served effectively for so many years. I’m grateful for their willingness to come out of retirement to lead Lapel Daybreak Church through a season of transition.
In other transition news, Rev. Matt Ohime has accepted appointment as supply pastor at Davis Wesleyan Church for the remainder of the conference year. Matt and Kendra have been serving at a church plant in Wisconsin but we’re glad to welcome them home to Indiana. Kendra will be the new band director in the Oregon-Davis school system.
Special prayer request this week for Rev. Michele Henry and the team leading our Children’s Camp happening at Fairmount Camp. This is always a highlight for our children and significant spiritual decisions happen here every year!
If you’re traveling this summer and have to miss a Sunday, you can still hear some great preaching. Just check out this video from Rev. Chris Williams, our Assistant District Superintendent, preaching at Tipton Trinity Wesleyan Church:
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
P.S. I will be in California through the week for training on the LifePlan tool that we intend to offer for our pastoral team in the years ahead. Rev. Chris Williams and our office team are always available for your call and glad to assist.
Sunday morning, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping at our home church, Fishers Waterline Church, with Pastor John & Danielle Freed yesterday morning. Waterline welcomed special guest Ericka Andersen, author of Leaving Cloud Nine (Thomas Nelson, 2018). Ericka and her family attend Waterline and took this opportunity to share their testimony of God’s healing and transformation from a life of poverty, trauma and mental illness.
We were joined for the service by church planters Rochelle & Travis Jenkins (Circle City Wesleyan Church) along with a university student on their team, and John & Heather Miller (Way City Church) with their two children. After the service, we had a great time connecting over lunch and hearing stories from their church planting adventures. John & Heather welcomed 14 people for a vision chat at their home last week with another 10 that are interested but couldn’t make that meeting. Please pray for our planters and pass along connections you may have in the Speedway community.
Last evening, I was blessed to hear Dr. B. (name not disclosed for security purposes) as the guest missionary speaker at Anderson Lone Oak Wesleyan Church. He and his wife are being used by God in powerful ways in China in a creative and anointed ministry training medical professionals. They are focusing on developing a model that is sustainable and reproducible with the end goal of equipping missionaries to be sent out from China to bless other nations.
This was also the Sunday that Pastor Bill & Susan Thompson completed their ministry appointment at Lone Oak Wesleyan. The Thompsons have been a blessing to the church since arriving there in 2006. We pray that God will bless them in their next chapter and that God will direct the search committee as they seek a new pastor.
Last Monday was an office catch-up day after conference. Our office team held our staff meeting in Marion on Tuesday. Wednesday, I was in Lafayette with the opportunity to catch up with Pastor Alan Downing and then toured “The Branch” (Schuyler Avenue’s new name) with Pastor Logan Patriquin. The team at The Branch are working diligently to implement the Maximizing Impact plan they adopted and it was encouraging to see their progress.
Thursday, I participated in Jon Wiest’s discipleship cohort as they welcomed special guest Dr. David Drury for a thoughtful discussion on essential ecclesiology. Thursday evening, I was in South Bend to meet with Pastor Greg Holmes and the LBA at Sonlight Fellowship as they consider pathways to partnership with Rev. Terry & Lennaire Vaughn’s church planting project, The Bridge. Pray with them as they explore this possibility.
Friday, Sherry and I drove to Grand Rapids to participate in the ordination of Joel Jeffery Gorveatte, our youngest son. Sherry’s father, Rev. Bob Wilkerson, joined us for the quick trip and led in a special prayer of consecration. Joel and Christie, his wife, serve on staff with Rev. Jon Allen at Journey Church in Caledonia, MI. Joel was part of the worship band there as a junior high student and now leads the worship ministry.
Our office is closed this week with staff on vacation and the July 4th holiday. Next week, I’ll be in California for the first step in a training process for our district to be able to offer LifePlan, a follow-up component of our StratOp initiative that we began with Tony Morgan’s UnStuck Group.
Crossroads Children’s Camp 2018 includes: Carnival * Escape Room * Great Worship * Daily Bible Time * Awesome Chapels * Laser Tag * Splash House
Register at: https://fairmountcamp.breezechms.com/form/3248ec61
And then, Family Camp 2018 is July 22-29 with the theme of Re:Calibrate. This year’s camp features Rev. Brenda Young and Dr. Dave Smith as evangelists, Pastor Jordan Rife leading worship, and other venues led by Zach Coffin, District Youth Pastors, Jessi & Aaron Kipfer, and Lori & Layne Maki. Enjoy the Bible Study in our venues each morning, Activities, Crafts, and Afterglows each weekday, and then seek Revival every night!
These leadership teams have been praying and working diligently. There’s still time to bring your team and take full advantage of these life-changing opportunities.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent