Sunday morning, October 13, I had the joy of worshiping with Pastor Gary & Karen Bingham and their church family at Hillside Wesleyan in Marion and bringing the morning message. Pastor Gary has faithfully served Hillside since 1992 and last year they averaged 117 in worship with 11 new believers baptized.
The Hillside Church family came together this past week to lovingly support Karen, her mother, and the family, at the passing of Ray Noll, her father. (Ray, aged 91, was a beloved member of the congregation who served his country in World War II.) Pastor Gary and I met briefly with the Local Board of Administration following the morning service and then joined the congregation for lunch in their fellowship hall.
Sunday afternoon, I was able to drop in on Pastor John Hannan and the launch team of CrossRoads Church in Union City as they were setting up for another community outreach event. (Pastor Mike Hewitt graciously loaned them the giant inflatable bouncy castle from Rising Hope.) The CrossRoads team spent last week knocking on doors and inviting neighbors to this gathering. Fifty-five people registered and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food, fun, and fellowship with Pastor John and his team.
Sunday evening, I had the privilege of joining with the congregation of Greenfield Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church in welcoming and installing their new pastor Rev. Theo Griffin. Pastor Theo and Randy, his wife, are looking forward to settling into their new home and their new assignment. Dr. Abson Joseph, Academic Dean of Wesley Seminary, is a dear friend of Rev. Griffin and led the prayer of blessing as the leaders and congregation members gathered around the Griffins at the altar. The congregation hosted a lovely reception for the Griffin’s after the service.
Last week included meetings on Monday with Dr. David Vardaman (IWU School of Theology and Ministry) and Josh Delph (Chair of the Fairmount Camp Board of Trustees). On Tuesday, the Wesley Seminary board met in session for the day and I was able to represent our district on that board. Wednesday, I checked in on Dr. Ed Hoover as he prepares for a move to Fishers. That evening, I attended the congregational town hall meeting at College Wesleyan Church hosted by Pastor Steve DeNeff. College Wesleyan is working on plans to expand their facilities to better serve the community.
Thursday and Friday, I had the opportunity to represent our district as the Indiana Wesleyan University Board of Trustees convened for their fall meetings. Several members of the Crossroads District serve on this board including Dr. Dale Sloan, Dr. Nathan Hoover, Dr. Steve DeNeff, Mr. Don Cady, Mr. Gary Ott, and Dr. Carl Shepherd, who is the Board Chair. These are challenging days in higher education in general, and Christian higher education is facing strong headwinds. Dr. David Wright continues to lead Indiana Wesleyan University with wisdom and with grace. Indiana Wesleyan University needs and deserves your consistent prayers and generous support.
My last official assignment of the week was to join Pastor Mike Colaw, Assistant DS for Region 2, on Saturday morning as he hosted his pastors for a breakfast with special guest Rev. Doug Preston, pastor of Lifeline Church in Greensburg and a revitalization specialist with Dirt Roads Network. Barbara Nichter always does a great job coordinating these gatherings and this was no exception. It was encouraging to hear reports shared by the pastors of how God is moving across this region. Pastor Colaw closed our gathering by having us circle around and pray for John Hannan, our church planter in Union City.
We’re always delighted to share reports of baptisms from around the Crossroads District team. This week, we join Heaven in rejoicing over lives changed by the Gospel and celebrated by following Christ in the waters of baptism at Marion College Wesleyan Church (3), Lapel Daybreak Community Church (2), and Muncie Rising Hope Church (8). If you’ve recently had a baptism service at your church that we haven’t heard about, please send along a report and any pictures you can share.
We’re excited to announce that Dr. Bud Bence will be teaching a special seminar on Wesleyan Church History and Discipline next month, November 1-2, at College Wesleyan Church in Marion. This course may be taken in fulfillment of your ministerial license / ordination requirements or for personal enrichment. There is a registration fee of $90 for the seminar. Here’s the link for more information and to register:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. Register now for Follow2019: https://www.wesleyan.org/event/follow-2019