Sunday morning, May 7, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Gawin Anderson and the team at Indianapolis Divine Direction. Pastor Gawin is in his first year of leadership for this congregation situated on 46th Street, between College Avenue and Keystone Avenue. Following the morning service, Pastor Gawin invited me to chair their Local Church Conference. It was encouraging to hear the progress that they’re making after the pandemic and the recent pastoral transition.
If I understand the history correctly, the congregation was originally planted by Rev. Eugene and Phyllis Ramsey in the former Trinity Wesleyan Church building and was known as Northside Wesleyan Church. Mother Norma Grayson, one of the earliest members now attending for 45 years, shared some of her memories with me about the Ramsey’s effective ministry. The church continues to impact its neighborhood with children’s ministry and a food pantry. Please pray for Pastor Anderson and his family as they serve this changing community.
Sunday evening, I joined with Rev. Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck to chair the LCC (Local Church Conference) for Circle of Hope Network. You may remember that the Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Noblesville was already hosting Rey de Gloria and an inner city ministry known as Bethel Outreach Mission when they agreed to bring on Anderson Central and Beech Grove Wesleyan to form the Circle of Hope Network. This network was formed just before the pandemic and played a key role of helping these congregations through those difficult years.
One of the celebration points last evening was the unanimous vote of the LCC to relaunch the Anderson campus as a developing church under the direction of the DBA. Dr. Rich has also been leading our district’s multi-cultural ministry initiative and Circle of Hope is modeling that with a pastoral staff that includes ordained African American and Latino Wesleyan ministers.
I’m always glad to make time for prospective church planters, so it was fun to connect with Pastor Michael Hewitt and the Caraballos last week. Janiel and Leana will be joining the Muncie Rising Hope team for a church planting residency this year as they prayerfully prepare for the possibility of launching a new multi-ethnic church in Anderson next year.
The remainder of my week included coaching conversations and connections with a variety of amazing leaders: Dr. David Drury (micro-church planter), Rev. Mike Colaw (multi-site church leader), Rev. Matt Ohime (rural church revitalizer), Dr. Mike Brown (NGO leader serving in Ukraine), Rev. Jon Noggle (small town church revitalizer), Dr. Chris Bounds (Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University), Rev. Neftali Lopez (Circuit Rider) and Rev. Grace Lopez (FLAMA Coordinator). We are blessed with a great team!
I dropped in at Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday morning as Never 2 Young weekend was wrapping up. Congratulations and thank you again to Rev. Charlie Alcock and his amazing team that hosted more than 1000 middle school students from across the midwest. Thank you also to our many youth pastors and sponsors who brought their students and made this event possible.
I also had the opportunity to drop in on Rev. Trevor O’Dell and the team at Lancaster Wesleyan Church. They were hosting their annual “Blessing of the Bikes” which included a free lunch and a ride together. Pastor O’Dell is completing his service with LWC and will be joining Pastor Noah Farmer’s team at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church as the worship leader. Lancaster Wesleyan Church has called Rev. Ron Forsythe to be their next pastor. We are delighted to welcome Pastor Ron and Rita Forsythe back to the Crossroads District from their ministry in Florida.
We love sharing the news of baptisms from across our district family. Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at River Church were planning on six baptisms yesterday morning. The invitation was extended and 16 more people made their profession of faith in Christ public through baptism for a total of 22. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew!
You may recall the exciting news that Gas City Eastview celebrated six baptisms on April 30 but that’s not the end of the story. The next day, Assistant Pastor Ken Dykhoff received a call from someone who had watched the baptism service online and wanted to take that next step of discipleship. Pastor Noah Farmer and Ken drove to Herb’s home and had the privilege of celebrating his baptism on Monday, May 1!
We enjoy celebrating educational milestones in our ministry family. Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Craig Thurmon, pastor of The Encounter Assembly and Crossroads District Secretary. Dr. Thurmon graduated this weekend with his PhD in Organizational Leadership from Columbia International University in South Carolina.
Congratulations are also in order for Dr. Josh Lavender and Megan Christine, his fiancee, on the happy occasion of their engagement. Dr. Lavender serves as the lead worship pastor on staff with Rev. Michael Colaw at Indianapolis Trinity Wesleyan Church.
The FY2023 conference year concluded on April 30. While the fiscal year closed on April 30, USF (United Stewardship Fund) contributions for that period can be received until Tuesday, May 10, to be credited toward your 100% participation.
Pastors have access to their online LCSR (local church statistical report) and the due date for timely completion is May 20. That is also the date for pastors to complete their Annual Service Report (ASR). Just a reminder that a completed ASR is required for continued appointment as a minister in the Crossroads District. You can finish yours today in about 15 minutes. Here’s the link: https://www.wesleyan.org/twchub
Please remember that only the Local Church Conference (not the LBA) can elect delegates to district conference and it is prudent to elect at least 1 alternate delegate for each one allotted.
For friends and family of the ordination candidates who want to join us for the celebration of ordination, please note that seating will begin at 10:15 and the service will begin promptly at 10:30.
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Please join us in praying for a fresh move of God among our next generation of Wesleyan leaders who will be gathering in Cincinnati this December. There will be helpful seminars and workshops for pastors and parents so make please every effort to attend!