On Sunday morning, I joined Pastor Steve Colter and the team at Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church as they celebrated their 100th anniversary of ministry! The church was launched by three ladies: Aunt Molly McGuire, Mrs. Lydia Cleveland and Mrs. Elnora George in response to the spiritual needs they saw in their community. Rev. John Tompkins was the initial pastor in 1916 when the church began meeting on 10th Street as Tabernacle Gospel Mission.
Among the special guests today was Rev. William Babb who is the second longest serving pastor after Rev. Colter. The church has planted two churches and literally ministered around the globe by sending out at least 22 missionaries. Rev. Josh Bowlin, former missionary to the South Pacific region, was the keynote speaker and shared the impact of this church on his life as a teenager. Congratulations to Pastor Steve, Cheri and the Chapel Pike team for a wonderful celebration and a bright future!
Sunday afternoon, I worshiped with Pastor Barry and Joyce Dixon as Calvary Family Church recognized their seventh anniversary of ministry at the church. Rev. Chuck Moorer, pastor at Divine Direction Church, preached on the challenge of “Holding On and Standing Strong.” This service closed out a wonderful weekend of celebration as the congregation honored their pastoral couple.
Sunday evening, I enjoyed the inspiring music of the Indiana Wesleyan University Chorale under the direction of Dr. Todd Guy in concert at Hazel Dell Christian Church in Carmel. Dr. Guy does an incredible job with these students and you’ll want to hear the IWU Chorale and Master’s Praise when they’re in your area.
Last week began with the ReEquip Conference on Monday and Tuesday in Fort Wayne. Dr. David Dignal and his team put on a first-class event with outstanding speakers in Tom Mercer (author of “8 to 15”) and Hugh Halter (author of “Flesh” and “BiVo”). Both men focused on the essential ministry of disciple-making. I have several pages of notes from their sessions but perhaps the best takeaway for me was Hugh Halter’s challenge to “give your best time to lost people and leaders.” In addition to exceptional learning opportunities, we also had a great time of fellowship with pastors and staff members from across our Crossroads District. Our next district leadership event will be co-hosted with Wesley Seminary on January 13-14 in Marion when we welcome Pastor Mike Hilson (New Life Network) on the topic of “Leading a Multiplication Movement.”
I was back in Marion on Wednesday for a staff meeting and then for one last coffee with Dr. Willis before he headed off for North Carolina.
On Wednesday evening, I met with the congregation of Sunshine Gardens Wesleyan Church on the southwest side of Indianapolis. Rev. Darrell Dennis had pastored the church up until his illness. After his death last month, the church began to pray for a leader to pick up his mantle for this ministry. I’m please to report that Rev. Garnald Dennis, an ordained Nazarene pastor and brother to Darrell, has accepted the request of the church to be appointed as their supply pastor. We had a precious time of prayer for God’s blessing on their ministry.
Thursday, I worked at home and took advantage of the free online sessions streaming from the Leadership Pipeline Conference. Eric Gieger, Thom Ranier, Paul Tripp, and Will Mancini were some of the keynote speakers. Even though the theme was building a leadership development process, the essence was the same as our ReEquip conference, disciples must make disciples and leaders must make leaders. One of the takeaways from this conference was the maxim that: “what is celebrated gets cultivated.” That’s another way to say, what gets rewarded gets repeated. If you’re going to have more leaders, you must create a culture that celebrates leaders making time to develop other leaders.
Friday, I brought a devotional and then sat in with the Fairmount Camp Board under the leadership of David Tippey, board chair, as they reviewed last year’s camping season and made plans for next year. There is a strong team of leaders around the table and they’re working hard to ensure the camp’s future is as healthy as its past.
I left the meeting a bit early to make it to Fishers to sign documents to close the property sale for the old ICD buildings in Frankfort. It was good to connect with Phil and Rhonda Foley and to affirm the good work they’re doing with the Frankfort Camp Ministries. They also continue to have an active ministry sharing their musical ministry in area churches.
Friday evening, I joined the Cavalry Family Church and area pastors who came together for a banquet and celebration for the 7th year of Pastor Barry Dixon’s ministry. It was a joy to meet some new Indianapolis ministry friends including Bishop Larry Grinstead and Pastor Darrell Davis, Jr. These men are part of a pastors’ group called “Sharpening Swords Fellowship” along with Pastor George Martin. Pastor Martin was unable to attend due to his hospitalization but his 82-year-old mother brought special music at the banquet and Rev. Dixon’s brother-in-law brought the sermon. The banquet turned into a powerful church service!
On Saturday, I stopped by Community Hospital North to check on Rev. George Martin. Sister Toyin was there when I stopped in for prayer. They were still waiting on test results when I left. The good news is that they did release Pastor Martin to return home on Sunday afternoon. Dr. Joe Sawyer stepped in to preach at Sanctuary Church on Sunday morning.
Saturday evening, I joined Roger Gross and the Crossroads District Wesleyan Men for a banquet at Cicero United Family Wesleyan. Coach Tonagel from the national champion IWU Wildcats basketball team brought the message to an attentive group of men. He reminded us that every man needs a team and to “be 3rd” in life.
Prayer is requested for revival services this week at Colfax Wesleyan Church. Rev. Rick Patterson is pastor and Rev. Al Soultz is the evangelist. Prayer is also requested for Rev. William Breidenbaugh, one of our retired pastors, who is recuperating from hip surgery at Noblesville Riverview Hospital, and for Pastor Paul Trent (Chesterfield Parkview) as he continues cancer treatments.
We’re praising God that Rev. George Martin has been released from the hospital but he would be grateful for your prayers as he trusts God for a full recovery.
Next Sunday, October 23, I’ll be with Pastor Randy Yaryan at Winchester Wesleyan Church as they celebrate their 75th anniversary on ministry in that location. Then, I’ll be facilitating a congregational meeting at Knightstown Wesleyan on Sunday afternoon. I’m both aware and grateful for your prayers as we labor together in His harvest field.
Thank you for all you are doing to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,