Fairmount Family Camp kicked off yesterday with Dr. Brenda Young, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Akron, Ohio, an exciting multi-campus ministry (https://www.cornerstonechurch.info/who-we-are/) and she’s also the founder/CEO of Clear Blue Global Water Project. There are Bible studies in the morning and the worship services begin each evening at 7 p.m. Dr. David Smith will finish out the week as family and friends from across Indiana reconnect at this historic campground.
Pastor Jordan Rife and her team from College Wesleyan did an incredible job of leading us in worship. I was able to participate in the worship service last evening as we shared in the Lord’s Supper. Angela Spangler, Executive Director, and her team do a great job of leading this camping ministry into a bright new future.
Sunday, July 22, I preached in the morning worship service at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church. After the service I met with the LBA as they continue their pastoral search. This is wonderful congregation positioned for Kingdom impact in their community. Please join us in praying for God’s direction as they seek the person that God is preparing to lead in this next season of ministry.
Sunday afternoon, I visited with Rev. Steve Fletcher, pastor of Marion Nelson Street Wesleyan, who remains in critical condition week after being admitted to Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. Pastor Steve has battled health complications for years. There is little that the doctors can do at this point and what Steve needs is nothing less than a miracle. Please join us in praying for Pastor Steve, Patsy and their family.
Sherry and I returned from California on the red-eye flight on Monday night from San Diego to Indianapolis arriving back in time on Tuesday morning for me to connect with our district team for our Tuesday staff meeting.
Wednesday morning, I met with Assistant DS Chris Williams and the terrific team that led District Conference and Ordination for an opportunity to debrief. We had a great team of volunteers again this year who helped make these gatherings possible. Special thanks to Chip Bos and Michael Wood for doing an amazing job again with our technology.
I dropped in on Rev. Fletcher on Wednesday afternoon at the hospital. Steve was resting after a tough morning but I was able to connect and pray with Patsy and Marty.
Pastor Michael Hewitt and I met at the remodeling project site for Rising Hope, Muncie’s newest church. The youth center project was nearing completion with a fantastic team of student volunteers from Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. Special thanks to Rev. David Hines for his leadership with this partnership project!
Wednesday evening, Assistant DS Matthew Trexler and I met with the leadership team at Wabash North Wesleyan Church. Rev. Timothy Witte recently concluded his service with the church and Rev. Rodger Smith has been supplying the pulpit.
Dr. David Smith, chair of our DBMD, led a video conference call on Thursday morning with our team to plan our first Crossroads DBMD Retreat this August 3 and 4. Leadership development is one of the three strategic initiatives of the Crossroads District. The DBMD really is the tip of the spear for our leadership development process as they invest in the women and men who are sensing God’s call to vocational ministry.
I drove to Lexington, KY on Thursday afternoon at the invitation of Rev. Aaron Sherman, District Superintendent of the Kentucky-Tennessee District. Their DBA welcomed representatives from each district in the Heartland Collective to their annual year-end dinner on Thursday and and then we were interviewed at the district conference on Friday morning. It is a joy to serve alongside with Rev. Sherman, Rev. Les Crossfield (Great Ohio) and Dr. Mark Eckart (Indiana South) in this new partnership.
There were encouraging reports at the conference of churches that are being revitalized, restarted, and planted in the KY-TN District under Rev. Sherman’s leadership. Kevin Batman, General Treasurer, was also there as denominational representative for their annual conference. Kevin became a valued partner as the district worked its way out of significant financial difficulties and he affirmed the tremendous progress they’ve made.
I arrived back from Kentucky on Friday evening in time to drop in on the block party that Rising Hope Church was hosting in Muncie. The youth center was complete and the place was hopping with children and teens. The donations from the Fairmount youth campers, generously matched by Waterline Church, and the hands-on investment of the Brookhaven Wesleyan Church youth group made this transformation a reality.
Saturday morning, several of us jumped in on the DISPERSE church planting conference hosted by Pastor Gregg Paris and the team at Union Chapel Ministries. The worship team from Rising Hope led the music for the main sessions with a guest speaker roster that included leaders like Steve Sjogren (Conspiracy of Kindness).
Pastor Gregg has served at Union Chapel for 38 years, leading it from a church of 70 people in a cornfield to a city-impacting ministry with a vision and strategy to plant 100 churches in the next 10 years. I’m looking forward to having Pastor Gregg connect with our pastors this fall.
In other exciting news from across the district, Dr. Jim Lo and the team at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church celebrated 5 baptisms on Sunday morning with 88 in attendance. Each of those baptized were unchurched teenagers that the team has reached out to their midweek ministry. Four of the students had parents or family members attend with them yesterday for the first-time visit. Praise the Lord for the progress at Parkview!
It’s time to register for the Gathering 2019! More than just a conference, the Gathering is a reunion of ministry family and friends. A sabbath for our souls. Coming together to stop, rest, pray, play and thrive. A chance to celebrate what God is doing in our lives and ministry through meals, stories, inspiration and worship. We want you to be there so the Crossroads District is providing matching grants for 50% of the registration to churches who are helping their pastors take advantage of this event. Beginning August 1, any matching grants that have not been taken by solo/senior pastors become available on a first-come, first-served basis to assistant pastors and ministerial staff members. Here’s the link to register: THE GATHERING
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,