Sunday morning, February 5, I participated in the morning worship service at Brinker Heights Wesleyan Church in Marion. It was my first time to be with Rev. Cragun at Brinker Heights since he became their pastor last year. It was also good to reconnect with Rev. Harvey and Rachel Herring. Mrs. Herring played the organ for the hymn and I was glad to help out by playing piano. Following the morning worship service, Pastor Duane led a brief congregational meeting with an update from the outreach team. Join me in praying for the team at Brinker Heights as they share Christ with their neighbors.
Sunday afternoon, I met with the LBA (Local Board of Administration) at Southside Wesleyan Church in Gas City. The LBA participated in a feedback process with Rev. Brent Miller and unanimously recommended his continued service under the new extended call (2022 Discipline). The church is experiencing attendance growth both for their in-person worship services and their online ministry.
Last Monday I was in Marion for a meeting with our district office staff and then joined the Executive Committee of the DBA online as we prepare for next week’s meeting. Sherry and I had the privilege of hosting Chris and Tamara Granados for supper in Fishers. Chris is the supply pastor at Monte de Sion Iglesia Wesleyana in Indianapolis and it was encouraging to hear how God is moving in their ministry.
Tuesday, I was on the road for a coaching conversation with Rev. Dan Clark, pastor of Colfax Wesleyan Church. Later that morning, I met with Rev. Brad LeRoy, pastor of Harvest Church in McCordsville. Pastor Brad has been persevering through years of health challenges. After the most recent setback, Brad and Heidi prayerfully made the difficult decision that it was time for Brad to step away from his ministry at Harvest Church. They made that announcement to the congregation yesterday. I know you’ll join me in thanking Pastor Brad and Heidi for the amazing ministry they’ve had in planting and leading Harvest Church. Let’s also keep lifting them in prayer as Pastor Brad seeks to recover his health and strength for whatever God is planning for their future.
On Wednesday, I met with Pastor Brent Miller (Southside) in preparation for our Sunday LBA review. Then I met Rev. Ryan Budde, pastor at Jonesboro Westview Wesleyan, in preparation for his upcoming LBA review. My last meeting that afternoon was with Rev. Mark Atkinson for an update on his ministry as district “circuit rider.” Pastor Mark hosted a Zoom call on Tuesday evening for several of the pastors he’s been serving. The focus of their meeting was preparation for personal evangelism in the weeks leading up to Easter. Pastor Mark has developed a two-hour learning experience for local churches called “The Fishing Expedition” that will help pastors and members become more effective in connecting and leading people to Christ. You can reach Pastor Mark directly or through our office.
Thursday, I was on the road for a pre-vote review with Rev. Tim Becker, Elwood Main Street Wesleyan, and then on to Greenwood to meet with Rev. Nathan Richardson, Southview Wesleyan Church, in preparation for his LBA review. Thursday afternoon, I connected with Michael Wood at Tipton Trinity to record a video congratulating Circle of Hope on their mortgage burning. My last stop of the day was with the LBA at Jonesboro Westview Wesleyan Church for their pre-vote review. The LBA unanimously affirmed Rev. Budde’s continued service under the new extended call (2022 Discipline).
Saturday morning, I dropped in at Greentown Wesleyan Church where Rev. Eric Roemer and his team were hosting the “No Regrets Men’s Conference” simulcast. In addition to a strong group from Greentown, there were attendees from Marion, Indianapolis, and this happy staff team with Pastor David Shafer from North Anderson Wesleyan Church.
From Greentown, I traveled on to Carmel Amistad Iglesia Wesleyan to connect with Rev. Grace Lopez and the students attending our Spanish-language ministerial courses known as FLAMA. This session on Wesleyan Church History and Discipline was led by Rev. Edison Camacho from the South Carolina District. Fourteen students were attending this course from around Indianapolis and from Richmond. Rev. Neftali Lopez, district circuit rider, led the class in worship to open the session.
For many years, we were blessed by the leadership that Rev. Adriana Zarate gave to FLAMA and now Rev. Grace Lopez has agreed to serve our Crossroads District Spanish-language ministry students. I am also grateful for the ministry that Revs. Neftali and Grace Lopez are having as they travel to encourage the Hispanic leaders and congregations across our district.
Speaking of Hispanic ministries, I was excited to receive word from Revs. Nicolas and Adriana Zarate that they welcomed 4 more members yesterday at Gloria del Rey. God is on the move!
And speaking of new members, Rev. Aldean Pablo and the team at ARISE Church in Roanoke welcomed 13 new members yesterday morning. Rev. Mark Atkinson, circuit rider, sent along this photo. Praise the Lord for the growth that we are seeing in many of our churches!
Here’s one more example of how God is at work. I received this praise report from Rev. David Cox, pastor at Laketon Wesleyan Church: “I was almost halfway through my sermon and voiced a concern how we are often so prideful that we fail to use our altars, when this young lady stands up and states how she needs to get her life right with God and recommitted her life to Christ, (at the altar), of course I stopped preaching and allowed the Holy Spirit to move and He did, another woman came forward who has smoked for 40 years and we anointed her as well as two others for healing, one 91 year old lady who physically could not come up stated she felt so empty, we prayed for her and she received the filling of God’s Holy Spirit. I was unable to finish the sermon due to so many testimonies and the work of the Holy Spirit. Just wanted to report that God is on the move!”
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. We’re counting down the days until the 2023 Crossroads District Youth All-Nighter in Fort Wayne on Friday, February 17. Click the image below to register your youth group. Rev. Jessica Folz, our District Youth President, along with Rev. Lane Sander are a great team, always providing an incredible experience for our youth groups. I hope to see you there!