Bryant, Discipleship, and Heroes
Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Paul VanCise and the warm congregation at Bryant Wesleyan Church yesterday (October 29). Founded in 1884, the church has been meeting in its present location since 1895. With 14 years of faithful ministry, Rev. VanCise holds title as the longest-serving pastor in the church’s history.
The church has become a vital center for their rural community while continuing strong missions support through Global Partners. Following the service, and a brief meeting with the LBA, Paul and Angelyn welcomed us into their home to share a delicious meal with their family. This family photo is from Pastor Paul & Angelyn’s 25th wedding anniversary that the church hosted this year.
Last evening, I took advantage of an invitation from Pastor Mike Colaw and Jon Wiest to sit in on their quarterly discipleship leaders meeting hosted at their East Fishers Campus. More than 200 adults and students attended the 2-hour session last evening. It has been encouraging to watch the development of this discipleship movement develop from a small group of leaders to now engaging more than 40% of the congregation.
Dr. David Smith, beloved New Testament professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, did an outstanding job of teaching an overview of the Gospel of John. Rev. Jon Wiest will be leading a cohort of pastors, beginning in January, who will have the opportunity to learn more about this and to launch a multiplication movement in their congregation with Jon’s coaching.
Last week included coaching conversations with Rev. Logan Westrick (Tipton Ash Street Wesleyan), Rev. Lyle Breeding (Bluffton Sonlight Wesleyan), Rev. David Stout (Greentown Howard Chapel), Dr. Mark Rennaker (Kokomo Southdowns Wesleyan), Rev. David Dignal (Edgerton Wesleyan), Rev. Kyle Horton (Fort Wayne Three Rivers Wesleyan), Rev. Rich VanVuren (Shiloh Wesleyan), Rev. Alan Downing (Frankfort First Wesleyan), and Rev. Logan Patriquin (Lafayette Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan). I’m grateful for our team of pastors who lead in such a variety of settings. They are faithful to God’s Word and their calling. Thank you to each one of our pastors and thank you to each of the congregations who remembered October a special focus for Pastor Appreciation!
Friday was a special highlight as Sherry and I hosted the heroes of our Crossroads District in two locations for “Coffee and Cupcakes.” It was a delight to share in fellowship and prayer with 38 of our retired pastors and their spouses. Thank you to Rev. Carol Schenck and her team at Noblesville Lakeview Wesleyan for hosting the morning session and to Rev. Mark Atkinson and his team at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan for hosting the afternoon session. Together, these faithful pastors and educators totaled more than 1000 years of ministry to our team!
On Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, I joined Rev. Paul James and Rev. Chris Williams at Main Street Wesleyan Church in Jonesboro for their Maximizing Impact weekend. Main Street has faithfully served their community for 95 years but has been in a difficult season of decline. Join me in praying for Pastor Ken Dykoff and his team as they seek God’s direction for their future.
I was able to visit with Ed Hoover in his home on Tuesday and heard encouraging news about his recovery. Ed is grateful for your prayers.
Rev. Lloyd Moore received a liver transplant on Thursday morning. He is recovering on schedule but these next few days are critical. Your prayers and support are valued by Lloyd and Rhonda. You can follow the updates on Rhonda’s FaceBook page.
Our sympathy and prayers are extended to Rev. Ruth Anderson, Rev. David Anderson, and the other members of Rev. Bob Anderson’s family. Pastor Bob was a dearly loved and long-time member of our district’s pastoral team. Rev. Anderson’s funeral will be held at Fountain City Wesleyan Church on Tuesday evening, October 31, with calling hours at the church from 4 until the service begins at 7.
As you love and lead this week, remember what Jesus said: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” John 9:4 (NIV)
Your servant in Christ,
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