Sunday morning, Rev. Barry Dixon, Rev. Joyce Dixon, and the team at Calvary Family Church in Indianapolis welcomed me to join them for their 9 a.m. worship service. Pastor Barry and Assistant Pastor Joyce (the First Lady) have served Calvary Family Church since 2010. Both Joyce and Barry have served on the Crossroads District Board of Administration.
Accompanied by the Dixon’s talented daughter and son, Pastor Barry led us in worship and then shared an encouraging message on God’s faithful provision in our lives. The highlight of the Christmas season at Calvary was celebrating five baptisms!
Divine Direction, another of our congregations serving inside the I-465 circle, is just five miles away from Calvary Family Church so I was able to join them for their 11 a.m. worship service. Pastor Gawin Anderson and Monique, his wife, lead this ministry in a strategic location within our capital city. Sister Monique led us in worship and Pastor Gawin brought a timely message on “The Indisputable Reality of Jesus Christ.”
Pastor Gawin is studying for his degree in ministry through Indiana Wesleyan University and has entered the ordination process in the Crossroads District. We are grateful that the Anderson family has joined our district team bringing their experience in both church planting and revitalization.
I was in Marion on Monday for district staff meeting and to connect with Rev. Matthew Trexler and the cohort of pastors he convenes at The River Church each month. The morning group has been meeting for nearly three years and a new afternoon cohort began meeting last summer. It was encouraging to hear how their respective churches are engaging in focused prayer as we launch into a new calendar year. I’m thankful for our pastors who are committed to cheering one another on to greater ministry effectiveness.
This is the time of year when Wesleyan churches and pastors are prayerfully considering God’s call. On Tuesday, I met with one of our pastors for that conversation and I closed out the day on a Zoom call with another pastor who is seeking God’s direction for his ministry.
Wednesday morning, I was in Indianapolis for coaching conversations. I met with Rev. Jim Weinmann (Indianapolis Evanston Avenue Wesleyan Church) at his HQ office where he serves as Operations Director for the Wesleyan Pension Fund. In addition to his local church ministry and full-time job at HQ, Pastor Jim also actively serves as a chaplain with the Lawrence Police Department. Rev. Nathan Richardson (Indianapolis Southview) met for our coaching conversation in the afternoon. In addition to leading the church, Pastor Richardson also handles staffing/HR matters for a group of Chick-Fil-A restaurants in the Greenwood area.
While in Indy, I also met with Rev. Mark James, a long-time friend who has retired and moved back from South Carolina to be closer to grandchildren. Pastor Mark and Anna James served at Warsaw Wesleyan and at Trinity Wesleyan in Indianapolis before heading south. It’s good to have them back home and I’m delighted to announce that they have agreed to lead worship and bring the devotional for our spring Retired Pastors and Spouses Fellowship. The brunch will be held in the Indianapolis area on Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m., so save the date!
On my way home from Indy, I connected with Pastor Mike Weller and some of his leadership team for a walk-thru of a possible new location for Restoration Church. Their ministry is outgrowing their current facility and they are seeking God’s direction for the next chapter.
On Thursday morning, I met with Rev. Clifton Ashlock (Chesterfield Parkview) for our coaching conversation. New Journey Church was closing on a construction loan early that afternoon so I made a quick trip back to Wabash to sign documents on behalf of the district before heading back to Noblesville for a coaching conversation with Rev. Dr. Rich Schenck (Noblesville Circle of Hope). Pastor Rich has also played a significant role in our district’s partnership with the developing Wesleyan mission field in Bangladesh. Rich and I will be accompanying Dr. Aron Willis, our former DS, to Bangladesh in February for a special presentation marking the progress of this partnership
Saturday morning, I dropped in on Pastor Scott Rhyno and the team at Waterline Church. They are on the home stretch for completing the build out of a new leased facility in Ingalls. This will be the first time that Waterline has had a long-term home since the church was planted. The congregation gathered first for a prayer meeting on Saturday and then rolled up their sleeves for a workday. Waterline is working diligently for a grand opening by Easter.
Pastor Greg Holmes (South Bend Sonlight) had a very serious fall on the ice last week requiring surgery. Cheryl, Greg’s wife, called me on Friday to let me know what had happened and she provided this report that I can pass along: “It has been a week we didn’t expect. Greg fell while headed out on a call early Wednesday morning. God was definitely with him as he somehow was able to call me and get himself inside. At the hospital, in addition to a concussion, they found he had fractured his back. Surgery the next morning. Now working on recovery. His pain has been so intense it causes him to vomit. Your prayers are appreciated. Through it all we’ve seen the hand of God. God got him inside out of the frigid cold. God helped him call me. God provided an excellent neurosurgeon and wonderful caregivers at the hospital. God has surrounded us with loving, praying family and friends. Thankful for today. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Rev. Holmes is a bivocational pastor and his recovery period (without work) could be up to three months. Two churches are already planning to take a love offering this Sunday to help with extra expenses while Greg is unable to work. Thank you in advance for responding to this need and for keeping Pastor Greg, Cheryl, their family, and Sonlight Church in your prayers.
Nothing brings greater joy here in the Crossroads District than hearing reports of how God is on the move and changing lives in our churches. Pastor Lyle Breeding shared the good news of four more baptisms on Sunday at Sonlight Wesleyan Church in Bluffton. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Noah Farmer and the team at Eastview Wesleyan Church celebrated four more baptisms yesterday morning in Gas City! Praise God for lives #MadeNew!
Pastor Jacob Gibson and the team at LifeSpring Church are also rejoicing as they celebrated nine more baptisms this weekend. Praise God for the way He is moving in our churches!
Calling all youth pastors! Register now and bring your teens to this year’s Crossroads District All-Nighter in Fort Wayne on February 16! The early bird price is $50 until January 31 (cost goes up to $55 starting February 1) so register soon! This year, in addition to the inspiring worship rally, our students will be enjoying Crazy Pinz, Canlan Ice Rink, laser tag, and the YMCA! Here is the registration link: https://districtallnighter2024.eventbrite.com
*** PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION CHANGE FOR RALLY! The rally will be held at Pine Hills Church in Fort Wayne (about 5 minutes down the road from our previous location).
Calling all pastors and spouses (and PKs are also invited)! Please join us for the 2024 Heartland Gathering, April 2-5, 2024, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! Our DBA has approved one $300 scholarship for each district church, designated to cover a significant portion of the registration cost for one pastoral family per church. Details regarding the scholarship were sent to lead and solo pastors.
Don't miss out, registration ends February 5th! Here’s the link for the speaker lineup and registration information: gathering.heartlandregion.org
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent