Sunday, April 16, I was blessed to represent our district at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne. Lifeway, which was then known as Moeller Road, is one of the three churches in our district that my father pastored so it holds a special place in my heart. Rev. Rick Fletcher served as assistant pastor with my father and led the church so well since becoming their lead pastor back in 1998. Yesterday, after an intentional multi-year transition process led by Rev. Fletcher and the LBA, and the overwhelming vote of the members, I had the joy of installing Rev. Andrew (Andy) Jellison as Lifeway’s new senior pastor.
Rev. Fletcher will serve as part-time assistant pastor on Pastor Andy’s staff along with Brad Holmes, Dean Forbes, Gary Livengood, and Robert Simons. Following the service, I joined Rick and Debbie Fletcher as they hosted the Jellison family for a delicious luncheon. These are good days at Lifeway with the recent payoff of their mortgage and 280 present for Easter Sunday. Please keep Pastor Jellison in your prayers as he steps into this new responsibility.
Sunday evening, I enjoyed connecting with Pastor Brent Miller and the team at Gas City Southside Wesleyan Church as they gathered for their annual local church conference. Pastor Brent and the team have completed a remarkable remodeling of their facility and technology over the past three years. They were delighted to welcome more than 140 for Easter and they are praising the Lord for 9 first-time decisions for Christ that morning.
Dr. Rich Schenck and Rev. Carol Schenck (Noblesville Circle of Hope Network) represented the Crossroads District at the 10th anniversary and 8th annual conference since the founding of The Wesleyan Church of Bangladesh. Dr. Aaron Willis, our retired district superintendent has played a key role in this partnership and the Schencks have made several trips to provide theological education to this new field. Rev. Joshe Bose is transitioning from the national superintendent position to an expanded role with Global Partners. Executive Director Dr. Dennis Jackson and Rev. Gwen Jackson were also present for this celebration along with Rev. Thomas Ensz, GP area director.
Since the Crossroads District was created in 2016, your USF contributions have made it possible for us to invest more than $50,000 in addition to the direct contributions from local churches and individuals. And your investment is making a difference. Today, there are 65 churches with 2500 members. Last year they baptized 274 new believers and launched 9 new churches. Thank you for your investment in our Global Partners ministry in Bangladesh!
We’re also in a time of transition for LifeSpring Church in Richmond (formerly known as Fountain City Wesleyan). The LBA has unanimously recommended Rev. Jacob Gibson to be their next senior pastor. The congregational vote will take place this coming weekend. Pray for God’s continued direction through this prayerful process.
I had a great time connecting with pastors last week for coaching conversations and other matters. On Monday evening, I was in Dublin (IN) to meet with Rev. Steve and Shari Cox (both IWU grads) and the leadership team at Dublin Gospel Mission. This congregation has been part of the Evangelical Church of North America but is considering the possibility of joining with The Wesleyan Church. On my way home, I was able to drop in on Dr. Joe Harmon and the LBA at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church. Please keep Memorial Church in your prayers as they work through the pastoral search process.
Tuesday, I met with a pastoral candidate for Lancaster Wesleyan Church in the morning and then traveled to Tipton for meeting with the LBA at Ash Street Wesleyan Church. The LBA at Ash Street has unanimously nominated Jerry Smith, a lay minister, to be considered by the congregation as their interim/supply pastor for the coming year. I look forward to serving with Jerry and Beth Smith as they step forward to serve the Ash Street Wesleyan Church.
Wednesday, I was on the road to visit with Rev. Judy Hatt at Hope Wesleyan Church in Fowler. Pastor Judy is assisted in the work by Harold, a retired lay minister who was formerly with the UMC. We had a great time together catching up on their ministry and praying together. We determined that they hold the highest average age (85) of any pastoral staff in our district.
Pastor Phil Carder (The Branch) and I met for lunch in Lafayette and then I connected with Pastor Shane Wilson at New Hope Wesleyan Church in Columbia City. Thursday, I was in Indianapolis to meet with Rev. Ervin Webster (St. Stephen’s Church) for our annual coaching conversation. On Friday, I was in Muncie to meet with Rev. Michael Hewitt (Rising Hope Church) and a potential church planting resident. My final stop on Friday was with Rev. Aldean Pablo (Arise Church) and it was a joy to hear stories of changed lives in this new church.
To close out a great week, Rev. John (our oldest son) and Rev. Lindsey Gorveatte welcomed their second child, our fourth grandchild, on Friday evening. Eden Louise arrived safely and both mother and daughter are now recovering at home. Lennon Joy, our oldest grandchild, seems pretty happy to have a baby sister!
Pastor Kyle Horton and the team at Three Rivers Church in Fort Wayne celebrated another baptism Sunday. This new believer was set free in Christ from a background in New Age spiritualism. Praise the Lord for each one that is being #MadeNew!
Pastor David Shafer and the team at North Anderson Wesleyan Church celebrated two more baptisms yesterday!
Pastor Rob Tippey and the team at Wabash New Journey celebrated three more baptisms yesterday!
Pastor Andy Riemersma and the team at ONE Church in Westfield celebrated two more baptisms on Sunday!
Pastor Aldean Pablo and the team at Roanoke Arise Church welcomed 130 for Easter and celebrated another baptism!
Pastor Dan Fisher and the team at Delphi Wesleyan Church welcomed 7 new members this past Sunday and another person prayed to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. Pastor Dan’s report concluded: “God is on the move. Hallelujah!!!”
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!
The Crossroads District Senior Adult Ministries (SAM) would also like to invite you to attend the Post-Covid Relaunch Strategy Luncheon being held on Saturday, April 22nd from 1:00 – 2:30 pm at the MCL Cafeteria in Castleton (5520 Castleton Corner Lane, Indianapolis, IN 46250 – North of the Castleton Mall at 86th and Allisonville). For additional information, please email Rev. CK Chitty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent