Shalom, Southview, and Fairmount Camp
Sunday, July 25, I had the privilege of preaching at Shalom Church, our Burmese congregation who is hosted at the Southview Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis. Rev. Nathan Richardson, the new pastor for Southview, joined us for this service. They welcomed nearly 90 people for yesterday’s worship service. It was a special gift to hear the children’s choir. Following the service and a meeting with the leadership team, I was glad to connect with Benjamin Tlungloei Tuimuk who serves as the lay supply pastor for Shalom Church.
Approximately 25,000 Burmese (Myanmar) refugees have been resettled in Central Indiana and Shalom is a delightful church family who have become part of our Crossroads District. Many of you will know that the political unrest and pandemic are taking a difficult toll on the nation of Myanmar. Many in the congregation have friends and family members still living in Myanmar who are facing great difficulty and even persecution for their faith. Please remember these sisters and brothers in your prayers.
Sunday evening, I was honored to represent our Crossroads District for the installation of Rev. Nathan Richardson as the pastor of Southview Wesleyan Church. Although they moved to Indiana from Iowa, Jenny (Nathan’s wife) has deep roots with her family at the Greentown Wesleyan Church. Nathan is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University (2003) and graduated with his Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Seminary (2010). Please welcome the Richardson family as you have opportunity and pray for them as they settle into this new ministry appointment.
On the way to my 12:30 engagement at Shalom Church, I was able to swing by Harvest Church in McCordsville to check in with Pastor Brad LeRoy and his team. Josiah, our middle son, serves on staff with Harvest as their Worship and Creative Arts Director. After the service I was able to connect briefly with Pastor Brad and Heidi LeRoy. It was also good to catch up with Rev. Larry Moore who, in addition to his role as Chief Operations Officer with Wesleyan Investment Foundation, serves as a key leader on the Harvest team. Josiah and Elizabeth Gorveatte are expecting their first child in October so I was especially glad to see them for a few minutes between services.
Last week began with a quick trip to Cypress Wesleyan Church to attend the Greater Ohio District Conference led by District Superintendent Les Crossfield. Since launching the Heartland Region four years ago, Les has chaired our DS partnership and we’ve made visits to one another’s conferences as our schedules permitted. General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt was also there to bring greetings. Pastor Ken Murphy and the Cypress team did a great job hosting the event. Our own Michael (Woody) Wood provided his expertise with the electronic voting devices that Crossroads makes available to other districts. It was especially encouraging to hear how God has been blessing their church planting initiatives this year under the leadership of Dr. Chris Dyer.
Fairmount Camp just concluded another successful week of Family Camp under the leadership of Pastor Angela Spangler and her team. This year, Fairmount celebrated their 125th Anniversary (plus 1) from the founding of the camp back in 1895. While Fairmount Camp is its own ministry organization, not controlled by the Crossroads District, this ministry is generous in their partnership with our area churches. Special guests and testimonies each evening included David Henry’s miraculous recovery and Rev. Andy Reimersma sharing about his call to plant ONE Church in Westfield this coming year.
Dr. Jim Lo and Dr. Andrea Summers were the evangelists in the evening rallies. They were both used of God to bring anointed messages. Dr. Brannon Hancock, Wesley Seminary worship professor, and his team did a wonderful job leading the music. If you were unable to attend you can access videos of the services that are available online at this website:
Upcoming events at Fairmount Camp include the Old Time Camp (August 18-22) and the Marriage Retreat (September 10-12). For more information on these events or other camp activities, visit Fairmount Camp’s website: https://www.fairmountcamp.org
Last Thursday, I had the delight of hosting some of the leaders of Divine Direction Church for a tour of our denominational headquarters in Fishers. Their church building is just a few miles away but these leaders had never had the opportunity to visit HQ and catch the big picture of our international church family. I appreciated the way that General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt and his team so graciously welcomed our guests and shared the vision of our denomination’s global network of ministry. These local church leaders expressed how encouraged they were by this experience and how it gave them a greater sense of appreciation for our shared ministry. Have you considered taking your team for a visit to HQ?
This week, nearly 100 leaders from the Crossroads District will be making our way to Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama for the GROW Conference beginning on Tuesday and concluding Thursday afternoon. Special thanks to Dr. Craig Dunn and the team at WIF for helping us make this possible. I would be grateful if you would join me in praying that God makes this a significant event in the lives of our leaders as we prepare for this exciting new season of ministry. https://www.growleader.com/conference
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Sunday morning, July 18, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Zach and Lindy Szmara’s team at The Bridge in Logansport. After the service, Sherry and I enjoyed hosting the pastoral family for lunch. The Bridge is a beautiful multi-ethnic congregation that launched a national movement called Immigrant Connection. We sang in three languages this morning (Haitian Creole, Spanish, and English) and shared communion with people from many nations. Pray for Zach and Lindy as they continue to lead this terrific team.
Sunday evening, I was able to attend the 125th Anniversary Celebration service at Fairmount Camp. Dr. Ed Hoover and four generations of the Landis family were on hand to blow out the candles on the ceremonial cake. Services will continue at 6:30 each evening this week with Dr. Jim Lo and Dr. Andrea Summers as the camp evangelists. Please pray that God will move powerfully in the lives of those who gather this week.
Summer is a great time to connect with children and their families. On Wednesday night, I dropped in on the wonderful VBS held this past week at Lifeway Church. Pastor Rick Fletcher and Associate Pastor Andy Jellison are celebrating a high attendance of over 100 children with 13 decisions for Christ and 7 rededications. Praise the Lord!
The team at Hartford City Wesleyan Church experimented with a new outreach approach called Summer Adventure on the Hill. I enjoyed working with the team in preparation and helping with one of the small groups through the day on Saturday. The two-day event wrapped up Sunday afternoon with a cookout, petting zoo, and slip and slide party. The wonderful team at HCWC are celebrating 7 decisions for Christ, including two parents who attended with their children. God is so good!
I was excited to connect with Rev. Andrew Kinney (Marion Chapel Pike) last evening and received an update from him on this year’s “Mission Marion” hometown serving experience. Last week, four Wesleyan churches (Brookhaven, Chapel Pike, Fairmount and Lakeview) with about 55 teens and 15 adult sponsors came together to help several nonprofits in Grant County.
The nonprofits they served this year included the Grant County Rescue Mission (Painted and Cleaned Walls), Open Heart (power washed, mulched, painted and cleaned), Renewed Thrift (organized donations), Habitat for Humanity (built shelves, organized warehouse, painted office, and picked up trash on the street), and Servants at Work (Built 4 wheel chair ramps for disabled Grant County residents.) What a great way for youth groups to build community while blessing the community!
Nothing is more exciting that rejoicing with our churches that are seeing lives being changed by the Gospel. Pastor Alan Downing and Frankfort Connecting Point Church celebrated four baptisms yesterday. Pastor Scott McDermid and Six Points Church celebrated three baptisms last Sunday and four more at their youth camp. Pastor David Leitzel and the team at Hamilton Wesleyan Church celebrated nine baptisms yesterday. Praise God for these reports of lives being #MadeNew!
If you’ve not yet scheduled a baptism Sunday and offered the opportunity for new believers in your church to take this step of obedience, there’s still time this summer.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Sunday morning, July 11, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Charles and Crystal Moorer and the wonderful congregation at Divine Direction Church in Indianapolis. Rev. Moorer is another of our dedicated bi-vocational pastors. In addition to leading the team at Divine Direction, Pastor Chuck runs his own insurance adjustment company and is also a gospel recording artist. His latest releases are played on gospel stations across the country and he’ll be making his international debut at a gospel music festival in London, England this fall. (https://charlesmoorerpraise.com/music) Before the morning service, I was blessed to meet with Pastor Moorer and his prayer team.
Divine Direction has a wonderful team of lay leaders who are impacting their community through Feed My Sheep, a monthly food distribution and discipleship ministry. They also sponsor an annual Back2School outreach providing free backpacks and school supplies for children in their neighborhood. After the morning service, I enjoyed connecting with the members of the local board. Please keep this vital ministry in your prayers as they serve God in the city!
Sunday afternoon, Muncie Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church hosted the pastoral installation service for Rev. Eric George. It was an honor to represent our Crossroads District team in presiding over the installation and welcoming Rev. Eric and Diana George to this new ministry appointment. In addition to his leadership at the church, Rev. George is employed full-time as a chaplain in a nearby correctional facility. Pray that God will bless his ministry in each of these important assignments.
Sunday evening, Frankfort Camp Ministries launched their annual week of Family Camp with Rev. David Duncan as the leadoff evangelist and Anne Downing as special musical guest. David and Shirley Duncan have been friends from back in the days when I was a student at Southern Wesleyan University so it is always good to reconnect with them. Phil and Ronda Foley are doing a great job leading the ministry at Frankfort as an interdenominational camping ministry. Pray that God will meet with them this week.
Fairmount Camp wrapped up a great week of children’s ministry with 180 kids and 75 workers for the week of “Rise Up.” I was able to drop in at the camp for a couple of the rallies. I also connected with several of our Crossroads District pastors who were serving there through the week including Ben Capshaw (Elwood), Dave Cox (Laketon), Andy Cole (Lapel), and Carol Schenck (Noblesville). Special thanks goes to every pastor who prioritizes these camping ministries with their students.
Thank you to each pastor who has planned a baptism opportunity this summer. We are praying that people will be coming to Christ every week in our churches and we love to hear the stories of people publicly proclaiming their faith through baptism. Pastor Matthew Trexler and The River Church in Marion had the joy of baptizing two new believers yesterday morning. Praise God for lives #MadeNew!
For those of you who were not able to join us for district conference this year, here is a list of the elected and appointed leaders who will be serving this year. By ballot, the conference elected the at-large members of the DBA to serve as delegates to General Conference 2022 in St. Louis. The additional delegates elected are also listed.
Vice Chair of DBA – Rev. Chris Williams (Marion Lakeview)
District Secretary – Rev. Carol Schenck (Noblesville Circle of Hope)
District Treasurer – Rev. Craig Thurmon (Indianapolis Encounter Assembly)
Assistant District Superintendents
Region 1 – Rev. Matthew Trexler (Marion The River)
Region 2 – Rev. Michael Colaw (Indianapolis Trinity)
Region 3 – Rev. Chris Williams (Marion Lakeview)
District Board of Administration (Ordained)
Amanda Blair (Tipton Trinity)
Barry Dixon (Indianapolis Calvary Family)
Emily Hines (Marion Brookhaven)
Jeffrey Luedtke (Fairmount)
District Board of Administration (Lay)
Randy Griffin (Greenfield Brown’s Chapel)
Joel Hunt (Marion College)
Lisa Knepp (Plymouth Shiloh)
Amy Luchetti (Marion College)
Tonya Scalf (Greentown)
Lennaire Vaughn (South Bend – The Bridge Urban Church)
General Conference Delegates (Ordained)
Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview)
Mike Colaw (Indianapolis Trinity)
Steve DeNeff (Marion College)
Jim Lo (Anderson United)
Chris Williams (Marion Lakeview)
General Conference Delegates (Lay)
Ryan Biegel (Marion The River)
Sharon Cady (Indianapolis Trinity)
David Tippey (Marion Brookhaven)
Dr. Jim Lo and Dr. Andrea Summers are the camp evangelists for this year’s Fairmount Family Camp, July 18-25. The daily schedule is posted on the camp’s Facebook page:
Thank you for all you are doing this week to advance God’s Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
This is an abbreviated update given our holiday weekend. Hopefully you were able to take a few days to enjoy celebrating America’s 245th birthday with your family and friends. We really are blessed to live in this wonderful land of freedom and opportunity. America still has room for improvement but the fact is that more people are trying to get into this country than are trying to leave it. I join you in praying that our country may continue to become a more perfect union with liberty and justice for all.
Sunday morning, July 4, I had the privilege of preaching at Hartford City Wesleyan Church where I’ve been serving as interim pastor. This is a wonderful congregation ministering in Blackford County, one of the smallest and least affluent counties in the state of Indiana. It has been a joy to serve with their leaders and staff during this time of transition. We were blessed to welcome Amanda Banter, Global Partners missionary-appointee, who is preparing to join the team of Wesleyan missionaries serving in the Czech Republic. Amanda shared her testimony of God’s trustworthiness in her life and calling to ministry as part of my sermon from Lamentations 3:22-24 on the great faithfulness of God.
It was a wonderful blessing to hear from Amanda (a member of The River Church in Marion) and to be able to pray for her as she continues raising prayer partners and financial support. Thank you to each one of our Crossroads District churches who have already partnered with Amanda. If you haven’t had the chance to have Amanda share in your church, there’s still time this summer.
On Tuesday, June 29, I was able to attend the Indiana South District Conference. It was encouraging to hear the reports of church planting and congregational renewal. Dr. Mark Eckart, who has served as their district superintendent for 18 years, was re-elected to another term. General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt joined the conference to bring greetings from our denomination. IWU President Dr. David Wright was also there to bring greetings to this district that had been home to his family for years when his father and mother ministered there. We’re excited to partner again this year with Indiana South, Greater Ohio, and Kentucky-Tennessee district to provide The Heartland Region Gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN, March 22-24, 2022.
Summer camping ministry continues across our district family. Last week, I received the report from Rev. Seth Merrill that Camp United, a partnership of several churches on the western side of our district, had another successful week at Hanging Rock Christian Assemblies Camp. We are celebrating with them as they reported 30 professions of faith and 4 students testified to answering a calling to ministry.
This week, the Fairmount Camp Ministry is hosting their annual children’s camp with another great turnout. Pray for the Executive Director Angela Spangler, her staff, the many volunteers and the precious children who will be ministered to this week. The stakes are high and the statistics are compelling that as many as 85% of all people who ever come to faith in Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14. (Source: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/ages.htm)
Fairmount Camp is welcoming Dr. Jim Lo and Dr. Andrea Summers as their evangelists and Rev. Matthew Stewart as the Bible teacher for their family camp beginning on July 18-25. (www.fairmountcamp.org). Frankfort Camp runs from July 11-18 with Rev. David Duncan and Rev. Nathan Bryant as evangelists.
Pray that God will graciously meet with His people in these camps and empower us for effective service in these great days of opportunity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent