Sunday, November 24, was a wonderful day of celebration at Lifeway Church in Fort Wayne. Senior Pastor Rick Fletcher and Associate Pastor Andy Jellison led the congregation in worship and praise for the faithfulness of God. Lifeway completed a beautiful Family Life Center (gymnasium, classrooms, and kitchen) in December 2015 and made their final payment on the mortgage this month, raising more than $1.35 million dollars over the past 5 years.
The service included powerful testimonies of God’s provision in the faith journey of individuals and families who learned new levels of trust and generosity. God is honoring this step of faith to reach their community with 14 professions of faith and next week’s baptism will bring their total to 17 so far this conference year. Lifeway has a special place in our family as the last full-time ministry of my father, Dr. Ken Gorveatte, before he retired. It was a joy for me to be able to participate in the mortgage burning and to bring greetings from our district team on this happy occasion.
The General Board of The Wesleyan Church was in session last week, Monday through Wednesday, under the leadership of General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt. The year before General Conference guarantees a full agenda. Two major proposals (memorials) being prepared for the GC2020 will be a new model for the United Stewardship Fund (to direct more giving toward church planting) and a new model for credentialing ministers (which empowers the local church for a more significant role). Please add General Conference 2020 to your prayer list.
The denomination has created an email list for those who are interested in receiving GC20-specific news. These emails will include in-depth information about the May 31–June 3 event in St. Louis. This will help you be better informed about scheduled events, memorials and livestreaming. Unleashed emails will hit inboxes monthly beginning in January. Click here to subscribe: https://www.wesleyan.org/unleashed
Several leaders from the four districts comprising the Heartland Region met at Trinity Wesleyan Church on Thursday for a day of learning and conversation about our continued collaboration. We were delighted to have Dr. Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church, with us to provide leadership development in our morning sessions.
After lunch, Dr. Wayne Schmidt joined us to share an update on his initiatives to “unleash” apostolic multipliers. This included a conversation about regional partnerships and district mergers. He encouraged the steps we’ve taken to find ways to work together to make disciples and multiply congregations across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Dr. Schimidt will be one of our keynote speakers at The Heartland Gathering in Pigeon Forge, March 10-12. There’s still time to register! https://gathering.heartlandregion.org/
Thursday evening, Rev. Johanna Rugh hosted a gathering of Hispanic leaders from our Crossroads District. Johanna is leading the FLAMA Spanish-language ministerial education program for the General Department of Education and Clergy Development. Dr. Wayne Schmidt. Dr. Anita Eastlack (Executive Director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship) and Dr. David Smith (Chair of our DBMD) were also on hand to bring greetings to this wonderful group of pastors and ministerial students.
Friday was a good to catch up with e-mails and telephone calls. I was also able to meet Rev. Victor and Rev. Claudia Silva in Fishers, and then with Rev. Clifton Ashlock in Anderson. Rev. Ashlock has retired from full-time pastoring but is staying open to pulpit supply opportunities.
I am always encouraged to receive and pass along updates of new disciples professing faith and being baptized in our churches. Pastor Mark Atkinson reported that Eastview Wesleyan’s Jonesboro campus recorded another profession of faith and celebrated 2 more baptisms last Sunday, November 17. Praise the Lord for lives being #madenew!
Rev. Dan Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan Church) leads a prayer for his zone pastors via a group text every Sunday morning. I love reading the replies. This morning’s responses included: “We had another person pray to receive Christ today. God is good!!!” and “”Praise God. We had 1 get saved Friday at men’s Bible study.” It’s great to be part of a team that encourages one another as we work together in God’s harvest field!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent