Sunday morning, May 15, Rev. David Dignal and his team at Edgerton Wesleyan Church welcomed me to bring greetings and the morning message. Pastor Dave was one of the pastors I knew many years prior to the privilege of serving together here in the Crossroads District. I’ve always appreciated his positive attitude and his commitment to the Great Commission.
EWC has rebounded well both from the impact of the pandemic and a group that stepped out in January to start a new church in nearby Ohio. They just elected their new board of administration so I appreciated the opportunity to join Pastor Dignal in leading the commissioning prayer. Following the service, I enjoyed lunch with Pastor Dave, his wife Stevie, and their son Jonathan.
Sunday afternoon, I led the closing service for Warren Wesleyan Church. The ministry in Warren dates back around 150 years and the current building was constructed in 1885. Members and friends of the congregation gathered to share memories and offer thanks to God for the impact of this ministry on their lives and in the Kingdom.
Rev. Allen Laws has been serving the congregation as a bi-vocational pastor for the last several years but, coming through the pandemic, attendance had declined to a faithful few. The DBA has agreed to turn the facilities over to the Huntington Hope Rising Church leadership team with a view to restarting ministry in Warren in the next few years.
Sunday evening, I joined the team at Marion Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church for the official installation service of Rev. Joshua Bowlin as their new senior pastor. Pastor Josh and Rebecca have most recently been serving with The Wesleyan Church in New Zealand. This is a homecoming for Pastor Josh who met Christ through the ministry of Chapel Pike when he was a teenager. Pastor Steve Colter and the LBA at Chapel Pike did a great job of planning for this intentional succession as Pastor Steve moved into retirement. We’re excited to welcome Josh and his family back to the Crossroads District team!
Last week’s schedule included our weekly staff meeting, a specially-called General Board meeting via Zoom, along with coaching conversations in Richmond, Muncie, Marion, and Indianapolis. The highlight of the week had to be the three days that our District Board of Ministerial Development convened to interview this year’s class of ordination candidates. We began on Thursday afternoon and concluded on Saturday afternoon. Dr. Chris Williams, chair, and Rev. Carla Working, vice-chair, led us in interviewing 18 candidates, half of whom were women. The candidates spanned from their 20s to their sixties, from those expecting their first child to those who have already welcomed grandchildren.
I was especially encouraged by the priority that these ordination candidates gave to the message of holiness. They submitted exceptional position papers on the topic and consistently selected our embrace of the biblical doctrine of Christian perfection in love as one of the top 3 reasons they are glad to be part of The Wesleyan Church. Make plans to join our 2022 ordination service at Marion College Wesleyan Church on Friday evening, June 24, 7:00 p.m.
Pastor Steve Arnett and the team at New Castle Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church had an incredible celebration on Sunday, May 8, as 10 people publicly professed their faith in Christ through baptism.
Pastor Scott McDermid and the team at Sheridan Six Points Church are rejoicing with their dedication of children and the celebration of four baptisms on Sunday morning, May 15.
Pastor Gary Bingham and the team at Marion Hillside Wesleyan Church are praising God for five people who publicly professed faith in Christ through their baptism. Four of the baptisms were by immersion and Pastor Gary also had the privilege of baptism by pouring for one gentleman in a wheelchair. Praise God for these lives being #MadeNew by the grace of Jesus Christ!
This is the final week before our General Conference convenes this coming Sunday in St. Louis. Here’s an invitation from Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, to join together for a Pentecost prayer journey:
May I encourage every pastor in our district to lead their congregation in focused prayer during your worship services on Sunday, May 22. For more information about the schedule, memorials being considered, and online access to the sessions, visit the conference website:
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent