Sunday evening, I joined with Pastor Jerome Bell and his team at Autumn Hills Church on the north side of Pendleton as they launched into weekly worship services. They’ve decided to meet on Sunday evenings (5:30 p.m.) for now after listening to the input of their unchurched friends and neighbors. Pastor Jerome and Lenita Bell, his wife, live in Pendleton where Lenita teaches in the public school system.
I appreciated Pastor Jerome’s message on the impact of tables in Jesus’ ministry. It was encouraging to see several first-time guests and I was thankful for the area pastors who came out to show their support. Rev. Joe and Jennifer Jackson, who were themselves church planters before coming back home to serve at Anderson United Wesleyan, have been a special encouragement to the Bell’s in this startup season. Join me in praying that God will bless the efforts of the Autumn Hills team to reach many in the 70% of Madison County who are unchurched.
Sunday morning, College Wesleyan Church celebrated the 20th anniversary of Dr. Steve and Lori DeNeff’s ministry at College Wesleyan and in the Marion community. I was glad to be there to represent our district team. In addition to a video with powerful testimonies and commendations, General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt came to personally express his appreciation for Dr. DeNeff’s leadership influence across and beyond The Wesleyan Church. The congregation also hosted a reception on Sunday evening for the DeNeffs. We are grateful for Steve and Lori’s Kingdom impact as part of our Crossroads District team and pray that God grants them many more years of anointed ministry!
Fairmount Camp hosted their 49th annual Married Couples Retreat (MRC) this past weekend. I slipped in for their closing service as Rev. Brian and Cara Burke shared insights for healthy marriages from their ministry with Wellsprings of Freedom. I heard good reports from the weekend with 62 couples registered, many of them from our district churches including several pastoral couples. The leadership team is looking forward to next year’s 50th anniversary MRC (September 9-11) and encourages couples to reserve their tickets as early as possible.
It was good to be on the road again last week for coaching conversations with Pastor Trevor O’Dell (Lancaster Wesleyan Church), Rev. Michael Colaw (Indianapolis Trinity Wesleyan Church), Rev. Aaron Lee (LaOtto Cultivate Church), and Rev. Zack Working (Huntington Hope Rising Church). God is on the move in each of these churches in unique ways. Every week, I am reminded that it takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.
On Wednesday morning, I was able to check in on Pastor Allen Laws (Warren Wesleyan Church). Last week marked six months since Cheryl, his wife, passed away. It was good to catch up with Pastor Allen and to spend time together in prayer.
Many of our churches took special offerings in the past few weeks to bless and support the Capshaw family after the tragic death of Rev. Ben Capshaw. I will have a full report for the DBA meeting on Thursday but I can provide a preliminary report that we have now surpassed the $10,000 match from the district’s Thrive Fund that was also being matched with $10,000 from the denomination’s Thrive Fund. Together, with your help and God’s blessing, we have pushed past $50,000! I was with Amanda Capshaw on Wednesday afternoon. These are hard days but she is grateful for God’s faithfulness and thankful for the many ways that she and the boys have felt support from the body of Christ. Please continue to pray for Amanda, Isaac, and Noah.
Nothing brings greater joy than to share the reports of lives being changed by the Gospel! Rev. Michelle Henry passed along the good news that Brookhaven Wesleyan Church (Pastor Tony Bye) has baptized 11 new believers in the past 4 weeks. And then I received word from Pastor Paul Van Cise that Bryant Wesleyan Church was celebrating with four new believers who publicly professed their faith in Jesus Christ through baptism. Praise God for lives #madenew!
There’s still time to take advantage of the early registration rate for our Heartland Gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN, on March 22-24. Every church in the district received one scholarship to cover that early registration fee and we're excited for this opportunity for our pastoral families to rest and renew together. For more info, visit: https://www.crossroadsdistrict.org/rwi2
Thank you for all you do to advance God’s Kingdom in your community this week!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. - The 2021 Crossroads District Journal is now available. CLICK HERE to download.
(Prior District Journals are available from the District Office upon request.)