Sunday morning, September 2, I had the joy of worshiping at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne. Rev. Rick Fletcher (senior pastor) along with his assistant pastors, Rev. Andy Jellison and Rev. Gary Livengood, are doing a great job of leading this multigenerational congregation. Pastor Rick is in his 21st year as the lead pastor.
Last year, Lifeway Wesleyan Church averaged 217 in worship with 29 people saved and 12 new believers baptized. On a given week, Lifeway averages 60 teens and 80 children in their midweek ministries. They are also on their way to paying off their indebtedness on their beautiful new gymnasium and Christian education wing. After the service, I enjoyed a brief meeting with the LBA and then hosted Pastor Rick and Debbie for lunch.
Last Monday, I met with Assistant DS Matthew Trexler in Marion before heading to Fishers for a meeting with Rev. Ervin Webster, pastor of St. Stephen Wesleyan Church. Tuesday, after our staff meeting at Abbey Coffee, I drove across to the west side of the state to meet with Rev. Judy Hatt, pastor of Fowler Hope Wesleyan Church. Fowler Hope Wesleyan was almost closed last year but Pastor Judy has helped the small group regroup. They have updated the facility and are reaching out to their neighbors.
Wednesday morning, I joined DS Les Crossfield (Greater Ohio), DS Aaron Sherman (KY-TN), and DS Mark Eckart (Indiana South) on a Zoom call for the Heartland Collective. We have meetings planned at HQ next week in Fishers to convene the Mission Multipliers in a roundtable event (Wednesday) and for ELEVATE, a leadership development experience, with Ken Murphy (pastor of Cypress Wesleyan) on Thursday.
I met with Rev. Eric Roemer for our annual coaching conversation at Greentown Wesleyan Church. Amanda Roemer, his wife and a former DBA member, joined us for lunch. The church is making positive strides under Eric’s leadership. One of the most noticeable changes on this visit was the paving of additional parking spaces for anticipated growth. I’m also grateful for the role that Pastor Eric has played in leadership development events for the Crossroads District.
Thursday morning, I joined Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, with other district superintendents for the monthly Zoom call he hosts to update and dialogue. Thursday afternoon, Assistant DS Matthew Trexler and I made our way to Chesterton to meet with Pastor Tom Cochran and the leadership team at Expansion Church. Pray that God will grant wisdom for significant decisions that will be made in the next few weeks.
Friday and Saturday, Sherry and I were in Grand Rapids to connect with our children. Friday evening, Pastor Jon Allen and the Journey Church team hosted a wonderful wedding reception for Joel and Christie Gorveatte. It was a beautiful evening with a good turnout from the congregation, along with family and friends. Pastor Jon led in a powerful prayer of blessing for the newlyweds.
We celebrated Sherry’s birthday on Saturday and her favorite birthday gift always is to have her growing family gathered around the table together with her. It was a special surprise to have our son Josiah fly in from Florida for this special event so that we could celebrate together. Those of you with an “empty nest” know just how delightful and rare such occasions can be as our children grow older and launch out on their own. We are grateful to God for these amazing young adults who are walking with Him.
I made it back to Marion in time to join Dr. Wright and several thousand students, alumni and friends as Indiana Wesleyan University kicked off its inaugural intercollegiate football season against Taylor University. This kick-off classic was blessed with a beautiful day and an exciting, well-played game. It was inspiring to see the power of a vision that is diligently pursued. The current and former Board of Trustees members were introduced at halftime and presented with signed footballs from the team. (I’m confident that is the first and last time my name will be called out on ESPN.) Thank you to so many of you who made it to the game and showed your school spirit. Congratulations to Dr. David Wright and his team at Indiana Wesleyan University!
In other exciting news, we’re also pleased to welcome to Scott McDermid as our new lead pastor at Six Points Wesleyan Church in Sheridan. Scott is a Taylor University graduate with 17 years of ministry experience, most recently leading the contemporary worship experience at Carmel United Methodist Church. The Six Point members voted 53-1 to extend a 2-year call and the Six Points leadership team is looking forward to welcoming Scott, Nicole, his wife, and their two young sons to the congregation.
Even if you’re unable to attend the Fairmount Camp Marriage Retreat this weekend, please add this event to your prayer list. Pastors Johnnie and Amanda Blair will be leading the main sessions. Pray that God will bless their ministry and use this event to establish even stronger foundations for these marriages and their families.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent