Sunday morning, February 3, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Joe & Nancy Park at Evergreen Wesleyan Church in Lafayette. Pastor Joe has faithfully pastored this congregation since 1974. Attendance averaged 65 last year with 14 professions of faith and 4 new believers baptized. This was my third visit to Evergreen since moving to Indiana and it is encouraging to see the progress they’ve made with expanding their parking lot and welcoming new members. After the morning service, I met with Pastor Park and the LBA for a helpful conversation as they consider the possibility of hosting a new Hispanic church plant.
Sunday afternoon, I was in Muncie at Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church to meet with the LBA and Pastor Lee Miller in preparation for Pastor Miller’s renewal of call vote. The LBA voted unanimously to recommend the four-year call to the local church conference. Attendance last year was 55 with 7 professions of faith and 2 baptisms. They recently completed a strategic ministry plan, have launched an addiction recovery ministry, and are actively considering possibilities for expanding their facilities or relocating.
The weather last week wasn’t ideal for travel but I was able to make all our scheduled appointments. Monday evening, I was with Pastor Jim Weinmann and the LBA at Evanston Avenue Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis for the extended call review. The LBA unanimously approved his extended call and affirmed his ministry. Jim is another of our faithful bi-vocational pastors and he has served at Evanston Avenue since 1995. One of the recent developments at Evanston Avenue is hosting the launch team meetings for a new Hispanic congregation that will be led by Rev. Dimas and Rev. Irma Alberto.
Tuesday morning, our staff met at Abbey Coffee in Marion and then I connected with Pastor Mark Schnell over lunch. Pastor Mark & Sharie have been a wonderful blessing providing interim ministry to our Albion Wesleyan Church this year. Tuesday afternoon, I was in Elwood to connect with Pastor Tim Becker as Elwood Main Street prepares for their pastoral vote. Tim has served since 2013 and attendance has increased from 95 to 124 during his tenure. Last year they celebrated 8 professions of faith and 8 baptisms.
Wednesday morning, I met with Rev. Heath Croft in Fort Wayne. Rev. Croft is an ordained minister in process-of-transfer who is serving the team at Level 13 Church. Continue to pray for Heath and Hayley as they help their family make the adjustment from the warmth of Alabama to the subzero temperatures we experienced this past week.
I met with a prospective church planter over lunch and then connected with Pastor Shane Wilson at Columbia City New Hope Church in preparation for his upcoming renewal of call. Shane is completing his second conference year as lead pastor at New Hope. Last year, New Hope baptized 31 new believers!
Wednesday evening, I met with Pastor Dale Munsell and the LBA at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, near Albion, in preparation for his renewal of call vote. The LBA strongly affirmed Pastor Dale’s leadership. Attendance has grown from 43 in his first year to 59 last year when they also celebrated 25 professions of faith. They’ve also tackled building projects and updated the sanctuary.
Thursday morning, I met with Dr. Colleen Derr, President of Wesley Seminary, in Fishers before heading on to Cincinnati to participate in FUEL. Rev. Zach Coffin and the team from CMAD did a great job hosting and pouring into youth and children’s leaders from across our denominational family on Thursday and Friday. Pastor Charlie Alcock shared a powerful message on reconciliation in the opening rally. He does such an amazing job of pouring into next generation leaders at IWU and he had a great team with him from the KERN program.
Cincinnati will be the site for FOLLOW 2019, the international youth convention for The Wesleyan Church, December 28-31. It’s not too soon to be working with your youth group to make plans for this life-changing event. Zach Coffin asked how many of the FUEL participants had experienced a significant spiritual encounter at previous youth conventions and the vast majority raised their hands in affirmation. Don’t let your teens miss out on this powerful experience.
Saturday morning, I was glad to visit with Scott Drury, VP of Advancement for Southern Wesleyan University. Scott is off to a great start in the job that his father held 35 years ago. I also had the opportunity to connect with Pastor Zach Working at Hope Rising in Huntington. Jackie Vick sent some T-shirts from Global Partners for the baptism service that Hope Rising had planned. Pastor Zach baptized 2 men yesterday, one new believer with a terminal brain tumor and another who had run from God for 17 years. The church was full with 175 gathered for this celebration of God’s live transforming power!
Pastor Joe Deckard reported another positive preview event at the new Waterline campus in Pendleton including new families attending and 1 profession of faith. Pray as they build momentum for a strong launch heading into Easter.
In case you missed it, two very special people celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary this past weekend. Dr. Jim and Roxene Lo are a wonderful blessing to so many in our district family and as they lead at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield. Congratulations to this Kingdom couple on this significant milestone!
Our sympathies and prayers are extended to the family members of Rev. Charles Jacob McCallum (age 95), including our own Rev. Chuck McCallum. Rev. Charles McCallum passed away early last Thursday. Rev. McCallum, a member of the Tri-State District, was ordained in 1946 and served faithfully for more than 50 years. The family will welcome visitation in the chapel at College Wesleyan Church in Marion on Saturday, February 9, from 10 until noon. The memorial service will be held in Kansas on February 23. A full obituary will be distributed to our district leaders later this week.
There’s still time to register your students for the Crossroads District All-Nighter in Fort Wayne on February 22-23. Here’s the link for more information and to sign up your teens: 2019 All-Nighter
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent