Sunday morning, October 31, I had the privilege of preaching at Lone Oak Wesleyan Church in Anderson. Rev. Dr. Bob Hallett has been serving as interim pastor there this year leading the church through a consultation process in this time of transition. Unfortunately, Pastor Bob had surgery last week that required him to stay off his feet but I was glad to be able to fill in for him. Mike Wilson, treasurer and worship leader, kindly let me join in on the keyboard with the worship team.
Following the morning worship service, I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the leadership team for questions and answers. Join me in praying for Dr. Hallett and this wonderful team as they seek God’s direction for revitalizing this ministry that has real potential for Kingdom impact!
Sunday afternoon, I made a quick trip north to Roanoke to drop in on Rev. Aldean Pablo and his team at ARISE Church. You may recall that Pastor Aldean and Jessie were commissioned and sent by Pastor Mark Atkinson and the Gas City Eastview Church to plant a church (then known as SEND Church) with members of Eastview who had recently relocated to that community. As Aldean was ministering in the community, God opened a door for collaboration with the Roanoake campus of Sonrise UMC.
Through the vision and generosity of Pastor Fred Stayton and the main campus of Sonrise, the folks at the campus in Roanoke were given the opportunity to join with the launch team led by Pastor Aldean. Sonrise also agreed to sell them the church property for the balance owed, an incredible gift to these members who were continuing to minister to their community. To mark this new chapter in the church planting adventure, Pastor Aldean led the combined group in selecting a new name. They recommended and the DBA approved their new name to be ARISE. This week they had their new sign installed and yesterday afternoon they hosted a “Family Fall Festival.” It was a delight to see Pastor Aldean and his team reaching out to their community with more than 200 neighbors joining them.
Last week included a lunch meeting on Monday with Dr. Bob Whitesel. It’s always inspiring to catch up with Dr. Whitesel and hear what he’s researching. He offered a great reminder that churches who are advancing the Kingdom develop people who “meet a need, make a friend, and share their faith.”
It was good to be in Indianapolis on Tuesday morning to connect with Rev. Nathan Richardson, pastor at Southview Wesleyan Church, for our first coaching conversation. Pastor Nathan, Jennifer, his wife, and their two children are getting settled into their new appointment. It was encouraging to hear how Pastor Nathan is listening and discerning opportunities for their congregation to make disciples in this growing area. This past Sunday they hosted a combined worship service and fellowship luncheon with Shalom Church, the Burmese congregation that shares their facility.
Tuesday afternoon, I was back in Marion for our district office staff meeting and then stopped by Hartford City Wesleyan Church to meet with their interim pastor, Rev. John Davey. Pastor John is part of the intentional interim pastor ministry developed in the Church of the Nazarene and led by Dr. Lonnie Bullock. Pastor John will be working with the Hartford City team through June 2022.
The highlight of Wednesday was going to be the monthly check-in with our Assistant District Superintendents, Rev. Christopher Williams, Rev. Matthew Trexler, and Rev. Michael Colaw. We are blessed by the leadership they provide to pastors in their respective regions. One of the ways they serve is by convening the annual Christmas gatherings for their region.
Pastors, please mark your calendar and make plans to attend. Region 1 is doing a Christmas brunch in Marion on December 6, Region 2 is doing an evening meal together in Indianapolis on November 19, and Region 3 is holding their event at Plymouth Wesleyan Church on December 4. I’m looking forward to seeing our pastors and spouses at these celebrations!
The highlight of Wednesday turned out to be the arrival of Layton James Gorveatte, our first grandson, born to Josiah and Elizabeth Gorveatte. Josiah serves on staff at Harvest Church with Rev. Brad LeRoy. The remaining events on my schedule last week were overshadowed by this wonderful event! For those who like the data, Layton measured 21 inches long and weighed in at 7 pounds and 7 ounces. Mother, baby, and father are all doing well in recovery and we’re thanking God for grandchild #2!
Thank you to Rev. Neftali Lopez (pastor of Carmel Amistad) who was one of the 20 Hispanic and TWC executive leaders who participated in a Wesleyan Exponential Español roundtable in San Diego last month. The Exponential Conference focuses on multiplication and disciple-making. General Superintendent Wayne Schmidt and members of his team convened these leaders to better understand the cross-cultural realities that our Hispanic pastors and church planters face as they minister in the US. Pastor Lopez is a valued member of our district team and represented us well at this roundtable.
We are always excited to pass along reports of the Gospel changing hearts! Pastor Shane Wilson and the team at Columbia City New Hope Wesleyan Church celebrated 3 baptisms yesterday. Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at Marion River Church baptized 3 more new believers in their worship services yesterday for a total of 25 so far this conference year. Praise God for these lives being #MadeNew!
FUEL 2022! Executive Director Zach Coffin has released the information for the upcoming FUEL training event for youth workers. This time they’re holding the event in Muncie so every youth worker in our district will have the opportunity to participate. Rev. Jessica Folz, our Crossroads District Youth President, will be reaching out to all the youth workers that are currently registered with our office. If you’ve added staff or volunteers who may not yet be on our contact list, please forward this link so they can jump in for this training:
Make plans to join us for The Heartland Gathering on March 22-24, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Every local church received a scholarship for one pastoral couple to register and that amount can also be applied toward the THRIVE initiative. For the speaker lineup and more detailed information, please visit: https://gathering.heartlandregion.org
Thank you for partnering together in the Harvest. We have 3 million people to reach in Indiana!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P. S. There is still time to register for the Retired Ministers and Spouses Fellowship on Friday, November 12, at College Wesleyan Church in Marion. You may reserve your seats by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a voicemail message at our office: 765-674-8593