Sunday morning, September 13, I joined Pastor Dan Fisher and the team at Delphi Wesleyan Church for worship. Their in-person attendance has been running more than 75% of pre-Covid numbers, with several new folks becoming part of the congregation since they’ve been gathering in the building. Last year they celebrated 9 professions of faith and 6 baptisms.
I met with Pastor Fisher and the LBA after the service for lunch and a good discussion. They’ve done an amazing job of updating their facility over the past few years. They recently completed remodeling their kitchen and fellowship room. Delphi Wesleyan has also taken advantage of grants to improve their technology for a growing online ministry. They are also encouraged by the growing response to their new Thursday evening prayer service. God is on the move in Delphi!
Sunday afternoon, I chaired the LBA meeting at Eastview Wesleyan Church in the absence of Pastor Mark Atkinson. I am glad to report that Pastor Mark is making steady progress in his recovery. He surprised the congregation at the Jonesboro campus by slipping in to worship with them. Please keep Mark and Ronda in your prayers as they continue this recovery process.
Tuesday morning, I met with Dr. Jim Lo in preparation for our Crossroads District prayer gathering on September 27, 6 p.m., at The River Church in Marion. Dr. Jim Lo leads our district intercession team and will be hosting this summit with me. Please make plans to join us as we pray for revival in our hearts, our churches, and our nation. (Dr. Lo was at The River Church today teaching on prayer in all three morning services and in an afternoon seminar.)
Wednesday, Rev. Theo Griffin (Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church) and I met in the morning for our annual coaching conversation. I was also able to connect with Rev. Craig Thurmon, our district treasurer, in preparation for this week’s DBA meeting. Pastor Craig and Tiffany are working together to plant The Encounter Assembly on the east side of Indianapolis. Wednesday afternoon, I dropped in on Pastor Brad LeRoy and the staff at Harvest Church before heading back to Greenfield. Mrs. Randy Griffin (Theo’s wife and ministry partner) graciously took time to tell me about the ministry she launched in Central New York to care for pastors’ spouses. Stay tuned for more.
Thursday, I was in Fort Wayne to meet with Pastor Dave Dignal (Edgerton Wesleyan) and Pastor Aaron Lee (Cultivate Church) for our annual coaching conversations. Jordan Ashley (CFO for College Wesleyan Church) and I met later that afternoon to sign closing documents for the construction loan on their JC Body Shop expansion project. College Wesleyan is making great progress in raising the funding and in completing this building that will expand their capacity for community ministry.
Friday morning, I met with Jim Bogear in Gas City for an update on the growing coaching ministry that he and Jerolyn are leading together. Rev. Jason Tash and I met in Fort Wayne to review the StratOp consultations he is leading for the district. I was glad to connect with Pastor Aldean Pablo to catch up on the progress of the SEND Church planting project. Here’s a photo from their recent outdoor service. Please keep the Pablos in your prayers!
Saturday morning, I made a quick trip to Huntington to check in on Pastor Chris Williams leading the StratOp consultation for Hope Rising Church. I am grateful for Jason Tash, Matthew Trexler, and Chris Williams who join me in sharing this helpful resource with our district churches. We still have a few dates available in the spring if your team is ready to become even more focused and aligned for Kingdom impact.
No one needs another meeting, but every church can benefit from gaining greater clarity on their mission and the significant next steps that can help us be more effective in making disciples. Pastors Zack and Carla Working did a great job of preparing their team for this weekend and capped it all off with a baptism celebration in this morning’s worship service. That’s why we do what we do. Praise God for lives being #madenew!
This week I’ll be in Florida for the Wesleyan Village Board meeting Tuesday and then our District Board of Administration meets in Fairmount on Thursday. I am grateful for each one of you who keeps me in your prayers as I have the opportunity to travel and serve our team.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. I am grateful for the many creative ways that our churches engage with and serve their communities. Pastor Dan and Amanda Clark sent along these photos from the special service that they held yesterday at Monon Wesleyan Church to honor the first responders in their town.
I trust that you were able to enjoy some time relaxing with your family and friends over this Labor Day weekend. Sherry and I enjoyed taking a few days off including time with our children in Michigan. I hope you’ll be encouraged by this briefer than normal team update.
Last week’s abbreviated schedule included working with an LBA on a pastoral search, interviewing prospective church planters, conducting coaching conversations, and leading staff meetings. One of the highlights of last week was a meeting on Friday with Rev. Mike Hewitt (our district’s church multiplication champion), Rev. Bernie Haddad, and Toni, one of the ladies that Bernie is discipling through Mercy Unleashed.
It is so encouraging to hear how God is at work through this ministry to prisoners and their families. Our church plant (Eden Unleashed) in the New Castle prison continues to meet for ministry but outside guests are still restricted. Pray for Danny and the other men in our church there who are faithfully discipling within the walls.
Again this week we have the privilege of rejoicing with our churches that are celebrating lives #madenew by the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Pastor Paul VanCise shared good news of three baptisms in the Bryant Wesleyan Church on September 6 and 2 more on August 23 in their ministry partnership that Joe Schmidt is leading in Dunkirk.
Pastor Jeremy Armiger and Dr. Jim Lo baptized three new believers at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield. God is honoring the focused prayer and community evangelism that Parkview is pursuing.
Pastor Neftali Lopez and the congregation at Carmel Amistad Iglesia Wesleyana celebrated lives being #madenew in an outdoor baptism on Sunday. Three new believers publicly professed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!
Jesus declared, “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” Luke 15:7 (NLT)
We’re thanking God for answered prayer. Three of our pastors who tested positive for Covid-19 over the last several weeks have all received tests confirming that they are now free from the virus. Thank you for each one who joined them in prayer.
Pastor Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview) has been released from the hospital to recover at home from his recent heart surgery. It was great to speak with Pastor Mark by phone from his home on Thursday. Please continue to remember Mark and Ronda in prayer.
PRAYER GATHERING set for September 27, 6 p.m., at The River Church in Marion. This is a change from the previous announcement. For the past few months our district pastors have only gathered on ZOOM for updates and prayer. This month, we will plan to meet in person. Dr. Jim Lo and I will be hosting this prayer meeting as we seek the Lord for revival in our churches and in our land. If you are able, please plan to join us.
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent