Sunday morning, March 27, Pastor Tony Bye and the congregation at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church welcomed me to bring greetings from our Crossroads District team. It was a joy to worship with them in both services and Pastor Tony’s message was powerful. I was also able to attend Dave Tippey’s Bible class between the services. I was reminded once again how blessed our churches are to have so many gifted and committed lay leaders.
The 11 a.m. gathering had a good group of IWU students attending. Brookhaven has been rebounding well and momentum is growing as they build toward Easter. I’m excited to see what God has in store as Pastor Tony and his team continue to make disciples who share the hope and freedom of Christ!
Last week, Tuesday through Thursday, Sherry and I joined with more than 300 Wesleyan pastors, spouses, and children for the Heartland Gathering. This was the second event that our districts have collaborated to offer for ministers and their families in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. One of the best features of the Heartland Gathering is the programming track for children and the nursery staffed with registered nurses so that parents could relax and enjoy the services.
Jordan Rife and her gifted worship team from College Wesleyan Church led us in anointed musical worship times. We also had a great lineup of speakers including Dr. Ed Stetzer, Carlos Whittaker, and Dr. Kevin Myers who shared from their hearts and brought words of encouragement. Our Crossroads team had a special seminar featuring Dr. Pete Benson on financial freedom for pastors that we offered as part of our Thrive initiative. I was encouraged that so many of our pastors and their spouses took advantage of the Heartland Gathering as an opportunity to laugh, learn, and grow together.
The Heartland Region is currently comprised of Crossroads, Greater Ohio, Indiana South, and the Kentucky-Tennessee districts. Dr. Mark Eckart, recently deceased DS for Indiana South, was honored in our first rally for his contribution to this event and to our partnership. I want to say special thanks to Rev. Les Crossfield, Greater Ohio District Superintendent, who has chaired our regional leadership team for the past 4 years. Rev. Crossfield, Rev. Aaron Sherman, and I are committed to continuing our collaboration over the next 4 years and are working on plans for our next Heartland Gathering in 2024.
The Wesleyan Church will be hosting the national gathering in Orlando on January 4-7, 2023. We hope you’ll make plans to be part of this special event! Here’s the link for more information: https://www.wesleyan.org/event/the-gathering-2023
I love hearing stories of lives being changed by the Gospel! This past Sunday, Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church in Marion celebrated 3 more baptisms. Praise God for these lives #MadeNew! Pastor, if you’ve not yet planned a baptism service for April, you still have time to provide that opportunity in the Easter season.
Thank you to each one who has been praying for peace and helping with relief efforts for Ukraine. The Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund received $154,000 last week from Wesleyan churches and individuals to resource our ministry teams serving with refugees in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Would you prayerfully consider what gift you can give to bring relief and hope to Ukraine? Donations can be made online here. Checks should be made payable to The Wesleyan Church with a note in the memo line for WERF Ukrainian Refugee Relief. Gifts should be mailed to The Wesleyan Church Corporation, c/o General Treasurer’s Office, 13300 Olio Road, Suite 100, Fishers, IN 46037.
Please remember Rev. Craig Thurmon, our district treasurer, in your prayers. Pastor Craig and Tiffany are church planters with us leading the Encounter Assembly in Lawrence, Indiana. Craig was at the Heartland Gathering and had to be hospitalized for what turned out to be a heart attack. After a successful procedure on Saturday, Craig is hoping to return home today. Please join us in praying for Pastor Craig’s full and speedy recovery!
Thank you for all you do to advance God’s Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent