Sunday morning, February 4, Rev. Matthew Ohime and the congregation of Davis Wesleyan Church, near Hamlet welcomed me to bring greetings from our district team. Pastor Ohime and Kendra moved back to Indiana in 2018 after church planting in Wisconsin.
Kendra now teaches in the LaPorte public school system and Pastor Matt has taken the lead in developing the Starke County Resource Center. Just three weeks ago, the building housing the resource center was severely damaged by fire so Matthew and this team are working diligently to get the program back up and running. After a brief meeting with the LBA, I had the privilege of hosting Pastor Matthew, Kendra, and their two daughters for lunch.
My last stop of the day was in Laketon to meet with Rev. David Cox and the LBA at Laketon Wesleyan Church. Pastor Dave and Suzanne have been commuting from Warsaw each Sunday to lead the revitalization of this congregation since 2014. Last Sunday, Rev. Cox announced that he will retire at the end of the conference year. We met with the LBA to map out the pastoral search process. Please keep Laketon in your prayers for this transition.
Last Monday afternoon, I was in Marion to meet with Michael Wood, our district administrator as we prepared for our upcoming DBA meeting (February 15). On Tuesday, I hosted a ZOOM meeting with the district superintendents of the Heartland Region as we are counting down toward this year’s Heartland Gathering in Pigeon Forge. Rev. Bob McHenry and I reconnected over lunch in Marion that same day.
Wednesday, I had the privilege of sitting in with Rev. Matthew Trexler and the leadership team from The River Church as they hosted Shawn Lovejoy, the founder and lead consultant for CouragetoLead.com, for a morning of staff development. One of the best questions that day was this: “Is everyone I lead better for having served on my team?”
Wednesday afternoon, I met with Rev. Andrea Schaull in Franklin. Pastor Andrea and Austin, her husband, started The Table, a house church (new Kingdom community) in Emerson Heights back in 2022. Andrea and Austin are tentmakers with a growing candle-making business. They are relocating their business to Franklin (part of the Indiana South District) so I helped make a connection with Rev. Doug Preston, their new DS. They welcome your prayers as they launch this new location and begin a new house church among their new neighbors.
I worked from the home office on Thursday morning, then left for a quick getaway to Grand Rapids to enjoy time off visiting our three granddaughters (and their parents) before returning home on Friday afternoon.
Saturday morning, I was back on the road meeting with Rev. Ervin Webster and the leadership team at Saint Stephen Church in Warren Park. Pastor Ervin and Karen had a good group come out for a planning session in preparation for community outreach and Easter weekend.
I stopped by Divine Direction Church on 46th Street at 1 p.m. to connect with Pastor Gawin Anderson as he leads the revitalization process for this strategic congregation. My last stop of the day was in Tipton with the LBA (local board of administration) at Ash Street Wesleyan Church. Jerry Smith came to us from the Church of the Nazarene and has been serving as supply pastor since Rev. Logan Westrick retired last year. The LBA strongly affirmed his ministry and requested that his appointment as supply pastor be renewed for the upcoming conference year. This will provide time for Jerry to continue his coursework toward ordination in The Wesleyan Church.
We all rejoice with Heaven when we hear stories of people finding new life in Christ! Pastor Tony Bye and the Brookhaven Wesleyan Church in Marion celebrated 2 more baptisms last month. Praise God for the power of the Gospel to change lives!
Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church in Marion celebrated five more baptisms yesterday between their morning worship services. Praise the Lord for more lives being #MadeNew!
Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Rev. Judy Hatt (Fowler Hope) on the passing of her husband John just before midnight on Tuesday, January 30. John was at home with hospice care after a lengthy illness. The funeral will be held at Hope Wesleyan Church in Fowler on Tuesday morning, February 6. We were also saddened to receive the news that Rev. Dennis Croy’s father passed away early on Thursday morning. His funeral will be in Warsaw on Wednesday morning, Please remember these families in your prayers.
Thank you to each pastor and congregation who responded to the challenge to help Rev. Greg Holmes (pastor of South Bend Sonlight) as he faces unemployment and a long physical recovery from the back injury he sustained when falling on the ice. At last report, we were on our way to surpass the $5000 challenge grant from our emergency relief fund. Thank you!
Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Bring your teens to this year’s Crossroads District All-Nighter in Fort Wayne on February 16! 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 children are also welcome)! 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. Registration ends TODAY, February 5! Here’s the link for the speaker lineup and registration information:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,