Sunday, July 24, I had the privilege of ministering with Dr. Keith Loy and his team at Celebrate Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Keith and I have been friends for 25 years, since he first joined our staff team at New Hope Church in Williston, North Dakota in 1998. Pastor Keith and Kay stepped out in faith to plant Celebrate Church in 1999 and today it is one of the 10 largest Wesleyan churches in North America.
But Dr. Loy is not content for Celebrate to just grow bigger. He’s committed to Celebrate Church becoming a multiplication center for launching church planters. When Pastor Keith first cast this vision to the church, more than 80 lay people stood up to declare their willingness to prepare and go to plant as God called. In the last few years, God has enabled Celebrate to launch 40 home churches and church plants in their region.
A key component of their multiplication center is education, now in partnership with Southeastern University. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon was the guest lecturer for the first day of their Wesleyan Church History and Discipline class in June and I was invited to teach the second session on Saturday, July 23. We had a great group of students, several of whom are preparing to plant new churches. Sunday, July 24, I was blessed to preach in both of Celebrate’s morning services. I’m grateful for 25 years of friendship and partnership in ministry.
Fairmount Family Camp just wrapped up another successful week. I was able to drop in on the evening services to hear Dr. Chris Williams, Assistant DS and pastor of Lakeview Wesleyan Church, preach on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Pastor Chris did a great job presenting God’s call to holiness and missional living. Pastor Johnnie Blair and his many friends blessed us with their anointed worship leading. It was also fun to sit in on Dr. Matthew Stewart’s Bible study on Tuesday morning, and then to check in with Rev. Carla and Rev. Zack Working on Wednesday morning for their young adult Bible study. Congratulations to Rev. Angela Spangler and her team for another successful year of Family Camp. It is so encouraging to see this historic multi-generational ministry flourishing in this new season.
I met with Rev. Eric Roemer in Greentown for our annual coaching conversation on Tuesday morning and then joined our office team for a lunch meeting at The Branch Coffeehouse in Fairmount. Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Matthew Trexler, our new district treasurer, and I took care of some details with our banking. Tuesday evening, I shared our church planting video and a district update in the family camp service.
Wednesday, I met with Rev. Marcus DePeal in Noblesville and then connected with Rev. Jon Wiest over lunch to learn more about Groundswell, the discipleship multiplication ministry he leads. Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Steve McVey and I met via Zoom to work on our next steps to offer a pastors co-op (cohort) through Dirt Roads Network. I’m excited about both of these opportunities being available to our pastors this fall. Pastors will receive direct correspondence on how they can join one of these cohorts.
Wednesday evening, Sherry and I hosted Rev. Gale and Janet Janofski for supper before heading over to Family Camp. Pastor Gale has retired back here in Indiana after his most recent assignment in Virginia and he will be available to preach and supply pastor. Some of you may know Pastor J from his ministry at Brookhaven and Warsaw Wesleyan churches. He and Janet have relocated to the Mishawaka area and you can reach him through the district office.
Thursday morning, Rev. Terry Vaughn and I connected in South Bend for an update on The Bridge Urban Church project. I’m grateful for the good work that Terry and Lennaire are leading in South Bend. Thursday over lunch, Rev. Matt Ohime and I met in Plymouth for an update on the ministry at Davis Wesleyan Church. Pastor Matt is doing creative and compassionate work serving the Stark County region. Thursday afternoon, I had the joy of welcoming Hartford City Wesleyan Church’s new pastor Rev. Josh Fox and Candie, his wife, as they’re getting settled into their new home. My final appointment of the day was for pre-marriage counseling for a wonderful couple who just graduated from Taylor University.
I received an encouraging report from Sunday at Muncie Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church. Pastor Eric George was blessed to baptize two new followers of Christ, including his own daughter. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew by the grace of God!
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to Rev. Scott McDermid, pastor of Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan Church, on the death of his father, Mr. Gary McDermid, on Saturday, July 23. Funeral arrangements will be communicated to our pastors as soon as they are announced.
Mark your calendars and plan to bring a carload to join us for the Celebration of Holiness at College Wesleyan Church in Marion on Friday, September 30. You’ll need to register in advance so we can arrange for your lunch and the book that will be included with each registration. Here’s the link with more info and the form for your registration:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. This coming week, Sherry and I will be in Birmingham at Church of the Highlands for their GROW Conference. Rev. Carla Working will be available by phone and can reach me in case of emergencies.