Sunday morning, July 30, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Aaron and Jennifer Lee at Cultivate Church in LaOtto. This congregation in LaOtto was one of the first churches planted in our conference back in 1843. Yesterday, Pastor Aaron's grandmother told me about the conversations she had with a granddaughter of one of the founding members. That lady remembered her grandfather's stories of hiding the former slaves in belfry at the church and in their basement. Their home had a trap door hidden in the floor under the kitchen table to access the secret compartment.
LaOtto Cultivate is still a church on mission. Several members of the congregation arrived home at 3:00 a.m. from their short-term mission work with "Impacto" in Guatemala and still made it out for the worship service. I brought greetings from the district team and shared the message from God's Word. Pastor Lee closed the service with communion. Following the service, I appreciated the opportunity to connect with several members of the local board.
Fairmount Camp concluded their annual Family Camp on Sunday evening after another successful week of ministry with Rev. Patty Bray and Rev. Nathan Metz as the evangelists. I was glad to be able to attend some of the evening rallies. Fairmount's Old Time Camp is just around the corner (August 16-20, 2023) with Rev. Gale Janofski serving as camp evangelist.
Here's the link: https://www.fairmountcamp.org/old-time-camp-meeting.html
More than 30 lay leaders and pastors, including me, from the Crossroads District attended the GROW Conference at Church of the Highlands last week (Tuesday over Thursday). Our leaders left inspired by Pastor Chris Hodges and Dr. John Maxwell. We came home with the clarifying question that every board can ask: "What one thing if it got better would make the biggest difference in our church?" (How would you answer that question?)
We continue to hear encouraging reports from across the district about the ways that God is moving and changing lives. Pastor Scott McDermid and the team at Sheridan Six Points baptized another young man earlier this month with two more moving toward that decision. Praise God!
While Pastor Mike Hewitt was leading a team from Muncie Rising Hope on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, Janiel Caraballo, Rising Hope's church planting resident, baptized 8 at their summer camp. Exciting days ahead at Rising Hope!
Pastor Jacob Gibson and the team at LifeSpring Church hosted their annual picnic and baptized 10 new believers yesterday afternoon!
Rev. Zach Working and the team at Huntington Hope Rising also celebrated their annual church picnic and baptism yesterday with six new believers publicly professing faith in Christ!
Congratulations to Rev. Andy and Leanza Riemersma (Westfield ONE Church) on the birth of their second child, Eminora Grace, born just last week. God is blessing Pastor Andy with a growing church and a growing family!
Congratulations also to Rev. Randy and Carole Yaryan on their 40th wedding anniversary. Their children invited me to join in the surprise celebration that they hosted in the Winchester church fellowship hall on Saturday afternoon.
God is on the move. Let’s keep making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. Please pray with us as our next generation of Wesleyan leaders gather in Cincinnati for Follow Conference this December. Seminars and workshops will be available for pastors and parents so please make every effort to attend!