Sunday morning, April 2, I had the privilege of bringing greetings on behalf of our Crossroads District team to the wonderful congregation at New Castle Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church. Mt. Zion is one of the oldest congregations in our denomination dating back to 1843. Originally known as Duck Creek Wesleyan Methodist Church, this congregation was formed just a few weeks later than the church in Fountain City. Pastor Steve and Paula Arnett lead this vibrant, multi-generational congregation. It was a joy to worship with them, to preach the morning message, and to celebrate with the five people who were baptized as a public profession of their faith in obedience to Christ’s command.
On Sunday afternoon, I journeyed From one of our oldest congregations to one of our newest congregations. Pastor Mike Weller and his team are planting Restoration Church in the downtown of Anderson. Restoration Church holds their service in the park next door on the first Sunday of each month, weather permitting. It was fun to see the worship team from Muncie Rising Hope, led by Kim Hewitt, jump in to generously offer the live music for this outreach event. God is on the move in Anderson!
I’m glad that the Crossroads District stays focused on church planting and it is encouraging to see how God is at work in our newest churches. Pastor John Hannan, who is planting Union City CrossRoads Church, sent along this picture from yesterday. The church offered their Easter egg hunt on Palm Sunday this year as part of their morning worship experience. If I’m counting correctly, there are 37 children in this photo. To put that in context, last conference year, CrossRoads Church averaged 43 in worship attendance. Pastor John and Beth Hannan are doing a terrific job of planting this new Wesleyan church and serving this community of just over 5,000 people. God is able to do big things in small places!
Last Wednesday evening, Pastor Logan Westrick and I met with the Local Board of Administration at Ash Street Wesleyan Church. Pastor Logan and Nancy Westrick have faithfully served this congregation for the past 30 years. They have both been dealing with significant health concerns. After much prayer and consultation with his family, Rev. Westrick announced that he will be retiring at the end of April and that they will be moving to Ohio to be closer to their children. We are grateful for their impactful ministry to the church and the community. Join me in praying for their transition and for God’s guidance as the board begins the search for their next pastor.
My coaching conversations last week included Rev. Jeff Brady (Marion Commoners Church), Rev. Jerome Bell (Pendleton Autumn Hills Church), and Rev. Clifton Ashlock (Chesterfield Parkview Church). In addition to a variety of emails and phone call consultations through the week, I participated in a denominational study committee meeting via Zoom on Tuesday and represented the district at a property sale closing in Muncie on Wednesday.
Saturday, I was back to meet again with the board at Lancaster Wesleyan Church as they continue their pastoral search process. They are making progress and have set up interviews over the next week. Please keep Lancaster Wesleyan in your prayers.
Following my meeting in Lancaster, I dropped in to connect with some of our pastors who brought teenagers to IWU for FUSION. It was fun to catch up with one of our newest youth pastors Brad Holmes (serving at Fort Wayne Lifeway Church) and one of our “more experienced” youth pastors Rev. David Hines (serving at Marion Brookhaven Church). Dr. Jim Lo shared an encouraging note that more than 100 students prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit in his breakout seminar on Holy Revival. Thank you to every pastor and youth leader who invested time to bring your students. Thank you also to President Kulaga, Rev. Charlie Alcock, and the IWU team that made FUSION possible!
I’m always encouraged to receive reports of lives being changed. We’re rejoicing with Pastor Rob Tippey and the team at New Journey Church in Wabash as they celebrated another baptism yesterday. Praise God for lives being #MadeNew!
Congratulations to Plymouth Shiloh Wesleyan Church on the calling of their new pastor. Rev. Ed Friberg received a nearly unanimous vote last Sunday and has accepted the call to lead the team at Shiloh Wesleyan. Thank you again to Pastor Rich Van Vuren for his faithful ministry to the church and the community. Join me in praying for this transition and for an exciting next chapter of ministry for the Shiloh congregation.
Every child is a gift from God. Our family is celebrating the arrival of the newest Gorveatte granddaughter, born on April 2, to Joel and Christie. Joel, our youngest son, serves on the pastoral staff at Journey Church in Michigan. We are thanking God that mother and daughter are both doing well! (Stay tuned for pictures next week.)
Let’s support each other in earnest prayer this Holy Week. May many new believers in Christ be born again into the family of God as we lift Jesus high on Easter Sunday!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent