Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Dr. Morris Jones and his team at Lebanon Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning, April 23. In addition to pastoring the church, Dr. Jones works full-time for Indiana University in Indianapolis and also serves on the city council. I was able to substitute for the piano player and brought the morning message.
Following the worship service, I met briefly with the local board of administration. They had good questions and they expressed the desire to get together again soon to talk about future possibilities. Dr. Morris and Anita Jones joined us for lunch and then Sherry and I traveled to Nashville for a DS roundtable meeting.
The week included a variety of interesting meetings but I always look forward to our Crossroads District Board of Administration. We met at The River Church in Marion on Thursday. The DBA heard reports from Dr. Richard Schenck, chair of our Multi-Cultural Ministry Task Force, and from Rev. Carla Working, chair of our District Board of Ministerial Development. We are grateful for the strong United Stewardship Fund support that is on track to come in with close to 95% of assessments. The DBA approved a recommendation to the District Conference that could reduce our USF assessment from 10% to 9%. We also took time to celebrate with Rev. Craig Thurmon on the successful defense of his doctoral dissertation. Dr. Thurmon completed his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Columbia International University in South Carolina. In addition to planting The Encounter Assembly and working full-time for the U.S. Department of Defense, Dr. Thurmon serves as Secretary of our DBA and District Conference.
Our ministerial family was touched by grief this past week. Mrs. Jane Bradley, wife of Pastor Tom, mother of Heather Ulrich and Rev. Marc Ulrich’s mother-in-law passed away last week. The funeral will be on Monday, 10:30 a.m., at Bluffton Sonlight Wesleyan Church. Rev. Amanda Blair’s grandmother passed away last week and the funeral was held in Portland on Saturday. Rev. Roger Budde, father of Rev. Ryan Budde (pastor of Jonesboro Westview Wesleyan Church) passed away last week. I was able to join several of our district pastors at the memorial service on Saturday morning as the family celebrated the lives of both Pastor Roger and Sue, their mother who passed away during the pandemic in 2020. The Budde children ministered in music, a fitting tribute to their parents who blessed so many with their music through the years.
Following the funeral service, I joined Rev. Clifton Ashlock and the Region 2 District Board of Ministerial Development (DBMD) as they conducted interviews with ordination candidates. I am grateful for the many members of our DBMD who, under the leadership of Rev. Carla Working, serve our ministerial students so well.
Pastor Aldean Pablo and the team at ARISE Church in Roanoke were celebrating on Sunday as another teenager publicly professed faith in Christ through water baptism. Praise the Lord!
This past week, Pastor Andy and Leanza Riemersma celebrated their first of what they believe will be many baptisms in the Westfield YMCA pool. Many of you will know that ONE Church has signed a partnership agreement with the YMCA that will see them moving their weekend worship services into the YMCA’s new Westfield facility. Pray for God’s blessing on this innovative partnership!
Dr. Oliver Dongell is concluding twenty years (2003-2023) of impactful ministry as senior pastor at Plymouth Wesleyan Church. The LBA has recommended a candidate who will be introduced to the congregation on the weekend of May 6-7. Meanwhile, the church is rebounding well from the pandemic. Easter attendance was over 800, 15 people were baptized on April 16, and 22 new members have been welcomed into the church in the past few months.
I received word that Rev. Jacob Gibson was called by a vote of more than 90% of the membership to become the next senior pastor of LifeSpring Church. Rev. Gibson has accepted that call and will work with the LBA to complete a timely transition from his previous role with the church into this new appointment. We are excited to see what God has in store for the future of LifeSpring Church under the leadership of Pastor Gibson.
Congratulations also to Rev. Sam Maddox who has accepted the unanimous extended call of Albion Wesleyan Church to continue serving as their lead pastor.
Attention, all appointed Ministers! The Annual Service Report required for your continued appointment in the Crossroads District is now available online. Several, including me, have completed it and you can finish it today in about 15 minutes. Let me encourage you, do it now!
Here’s the link: https://www.wesleyan.org/twchub
Please join us in praying for a fresh move of God among our next generation of Wesleyan leaders who will be gathering in Cincinnati this December. There will also be seminars and workshops for pastors and parents so make please every effort to attend!
Calling all Crossroads District retired ministers and spouses! We would love to have you join us for the Retired Ministers and Spouses Fellowship on Friday, April 28, at 10:00 am at Wesleyan Headquarters in Fishers (13300 Olio Rd, Fishers, IN 46037). We are having a surprise guest that you won’t want to miss!
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent