Sherry and I joined Pastor Matthew & Nicole Trexler and their team at The River Church in Marion on Sunday morning as they celebrated groundbreaking for their expansion and remodeling project. God is writing an amazing story of grace at The River Church. Last year, they baptized 17 new believers and recorded over 100 professions of faith.
This project is just one more significant step in the journey of faith for The River Church to reach the 12,000 unreached people within a five-mile radius of their campus. They’re also making plans to launch multiple campuses in the next few years. Pray that God will continue to direct, protect, and bless this ministry and these leaders.
Sunday afternoon, I joined Pastor Calimerio and Maria Rodriguez at Templo de Poder Church in Frankfort. The congregation is home to families from El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala (Pastor Mario’s home country). There is a wonderful spirit of worship in their service and their Father’s Day (Dia del Padre) celebration included musical presentations for their fathers from the children and then from the youth group. Pastor Mario invited me to preach and I was ably assisted in translation by Daniel, a high school student.
The service concluded with a prayer of blessing for the fathers. Next week, Pastor Rodriguez has called the church to a 24-hour prayer vigil as they seek God’s anointing on their ministry. They are also hosting a fundraiser this month to send relief through World Hope International for the earthquake victims in Guatemala. I’m grateful to Pastor Alan Downing and the team at Frankfort First Wesleyan Church for their partnership with this vibrant ministry.
Father’s Day was also special at Rising Hope Church, our new project in Muncie, as eight new families accepted invitations to attend the Father’s Day outreach event. This was the third preview event that the Rising Hope team has hosted as they prepare for a public launch this fall. More than 80 people attended this preview service and four people raised their hands for prayer as Pastor Michael Hewitt challenged people to follow Christ. Special thanks to the middle school campers at Fairmount Camp last week who raised $400 to help reach students in Muncie through this planting project!
Last week began with a road trip on Monday to West Lebanon, near the Illinois state line, where Pastor Seth Merrill (New Carlisle) and his team hosted more than 130 teens at Hanging Rock Camp. Pastors Tom and Sarah Cochran were the camp evangelists. It was good to connect with these Crossroads students and the volunteer staff members including Pastor Logan Patriquin (Lafayette – The Branch) and Micah Hudson (Delphi UMC). I avoided the zip lines and being thrown into the swimming pool. Maybe next year!
Monday afternoon, I met with Pastor John Miller in Speedway for an update on the Way City Church planting journey. It was encouraging to hear how John and Heather are connecting with people in their community, including friends from their days at Speedway High School. If you have connections (unchurched family or friends) in the Speedway area, John and Heather would be glad to hear from you: https://waycity.church/
Monday evening, I worshiped with Camp Director Andy Jellison and more than 150 junior high campers at Fairmount Camp. Jordan Kizewski and Ryley Olson were the evangelists and Austin Barker led worship. Praise the Lord for the spiritual impact of this camp as 8 students made first-time commitments and 11 students indicated that they were sensing a call into full-time ministry.
Tuesday morning, I connected with Mrs. Roxene Lo at her office in Marion as preparations are full speed ahead for district conference. Roxene is a wonderful blessing to our team members in the office and a trusted resource for our district family. From Marion to New Castle to connect with prospective pastoral candidates for Memorial Wesleyan Church. Tuesday evening, Sherry and I hosted Pastor Steve and Susan Bray for supper in Muncie.
On Wednesday, I connected with Dr. Ken Schenck and Dr. Jim Lo over lunch to explore ways that the Crossroads District and the School of Theology and Ministry can collaborate even more effectively to serve students and our churches. Wednesday evening, I was with Pastor Zach Working and the leadership team at Huntington Etna Avenue as they prepare to relaunch this fall.
Thursday morning, I met with Assistant DS Chris Williams and the district conference planning team as we wrapped up final details for this weekend’s ordination service (Friday, June 22, 7 p.m.) and conference (Saturday, June 23, 9 a.m.) both at College Wesleyan Church. Thursday afternoon, I met with Rev. Dr. Richard Schenck in Noblesville for an update on the partnership/merger between Noblesville Lakeview Wesleyan and Anderson Central Wesleyan. Thursday evening, I was able to connect with Rev. Jeff Eckart and the NTS Camp at Indiana Wesleyan University. Pastor Jacob Gibson from Fountain City Wesleyan Church shared how God was working in their youth group.
Friday morning, I met with Rochelle and Travis Jenkins in Noblesville. They are called to plant a reproducing house church network in the inner city of Indianapolis. Rochelle and Travis will be joining the ordination track in our DBMD process and I know you’ll enjoy getting to know them. My next meeting was with Dr. Joe Harmon, who is continuing in his second year as pastor at Lapel Daybreak Church. It was encouraging to hear the progress reports and plans for the coming year. Friday afternoon, my two sons from Michigan came down for an early Father’s Day surprise and we took in the closing rally of NTS camp. Both of them had Jeff Eckart as their youth pastor and I’m grateful for the impact of his ministry on their lives.
Saturday evening, Sherry and I had the privilege of joining Pastors John and Danielle Freed for the official organizational service as Waterline Church in Fishers moved from developing church status to established church with 34 founding members. I chaired the inaugural meeting of the local church conference and they voted unanimously to an extended call for Rev. John Freed. This was another year of spiritual progress at Waterline Church with 36 decisions for Christ and 11 baptisms.
Please continue to pray for our leaders and the teenagers meeting this week in camps at Fairmount and IWU. Plan to join us for the 2018 Crossroads District Ordination Service at College Wesleyan Church in Marion this Friday evening, June 22. Ministers will gather for the Class of 2018 photo at 6:30 and the service begins promptly at 7 p.m. We’d also welcome your prayers as our delegates gather on Saturday for conference beginning at 9 (Registration at 8:00 a.m.). For more information, visit: http://conference.crossroadsdistrict.org
One more special prayer request for Pastor Randy Yaryan’s 91-year-old mother was injured in a fall yesterday morning and has been hospitalized in Muncie. She is experiencing a great deal of pain and the doctors are making decisions today about best treatment options.
Thank you for making a difference in the cause that counts!
Your servant in Christ,