Sunday morning, May 8, I had the joy of worshiping with Rev. Aldean Pablo and the team at ARISE Church in Roanoke. Pastor Aldean preached a powerful message and I brought greetings from our district team. With an unexpected illness in their worship team, Pastor Aldean invited me to fill in on the keyboards, an invitation that I was happy to accept. The men of the church arrived early to prepare a beautiful breakfast for all the mothers and Pastor Aldean honored mothers in the service. I am grateful for the leadership that Aldean and Jessie Pablo are giving to this new congregation. The future is bright at ARISE Church.
Sunday evening, Pastor Neftali Lopez and the team at Carmel Amistad Iglesia Wesleyan welcomed our monthly prayer gathering. It was a blessing to pray with those who gathered for this 5th monthly district prayer meeting. I’m grateful for the partnership of Rev. Jim Weinmann (Evanston Avenue), Rev. Craig Thurmon (The Encounter Assembly), Dr. Rich Schenck (Circle of Hope), and Rev. Lopez in leading this evening of prayer.
Many of you will know that Dr. Chris Williams (Lakeview Wesleyan) and I just returned from spending 10 days in Africa speaking at the national leadership and missions conference for the Zambia Pilgrim Wesleyan Church (PWC). Bishop Juden Siachitema extended a warm invitation that opened the door for our ministry and we were blessed by this opportunity to learn and fellowship in this thriving national conference.
There are more than 450 Wesleyan churches now in Zambia and they have a great vision for continued growth through church planting and missions to neighboring countries. In addition to preaching and teaching at the conference, Chris and I were also blessed to visit several mission stations, clinics, and schools across the country. God was gracious and powerfully anointed the three keynote messages that Dr. Williams preached from Isaiah’s encounter with God (Isaiah 6). We both came home inspired and encouraged by what God is doing through our Wesleyan brothers and sisters in Zambia.
We arrived back home on Wednesday evening and I was back on the road for a coaching conversation with Rev. Judy Hatt (Fowler Hope Wesleyan) on Thursday. I also had the opportunity to check in with Pastor Andy Riemersma for an update on the growing ministry of ONE Church in Westfield.
On Friday evening and Saturday, Sherry and I welcomed Rev. Mike Hewitt and a new cohort of church planting pastors who are committed to working together to accelerate our multiplication movement. This was a fun group to host in our home!
On Saturday, Dr. David Smith and I attended the 6th annual gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association held in Indianapolis. This group of orthodox United Methodists has been meeting to find a way forward from the controversies in the UMC. The official announcement was made at this meeting that many of them will be leaving the UMC to form the new Global Methodist Church. This is a painful journey for leaders and congregations who are seeking to be faithful to scripture.
We’re praising the Lord for continued reports of lives being changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ! Pastor Ryan Budde, Jonesboro Westview Wesleyan Church, reported that they celebrated seven baptisms on Easter Sunday. Pastor Brad LeRoy reported that Greenfield Harvest Community Church celebrated three baptisms and two more professions of faith with a total of 316 in attendance.
Pastor Shane Wilson and the team at Columbia City New Hope Wesleyan Church celebrated two baptisms on Easter Sunday and two other individuals made professions of faith in the morning service. New Hope also had a terrific response to their Easter drama with more than 700 people attending the two presentations.
Easter weekend, Pastor Tony Bye and the team at Marion Brookhaven Wesleyan Church celebrated six baptisms. This spring has been a good season with growing momentum at Brookhaven Wesleyan.
Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck, co-pastors leading the Circle of Hope network reported two baptisms and welcomed three new members at their Noblesville campus. We join them in rejoicing for the ways that God is working!
Last weekend, Dr. Oliver Dongell and the team at Plymouth Wesleyan Church celebrated six public professions of faith through baptism. There’s nothing better than rejoicing with heaven for these lives being #MadeNew to the glory of God!
Please join us in making the upcoming General Conference a matter of focused prayer. I would be grateful if every pastor in our district led their congregation in focused prayer during your worship services on Sunday, May 15, and Sunday, May 22. For more information about the schedule, memorials being considered, and online access to the sessions, visit the conference website: https://www.wesleyan.org/unleashed
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom of God here in the Crossroads District and beyond!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent