Sunday morning. August 7, I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Don Bayne and his team at New Carlisle Wesleyan Church, just a few miles west of South Bend. New Carlisle Wesleyan Church is celebrating their 125th anniversary of ministry this fall, so it was a special delight to bring them greetings from the Crossroads District. I appreciated the opportunity to preach and then, following the service, to meet with Pastor Bayne and his leadership team. Last year, New Carlisle celebrated 15 professions of faith!
From New Carlisle, it was just a quick drive into South Bend to connect with Rev. Terry and Lennaire Vaughn at The Bridge Urban Church. I’m always encouraged by the good work that their team is doing to make disciples in the inner city. They continue to search for a permanent facility in the city.
Pastor Terry brought a strong message from the book of Nehemiah about God’s people having a heart for their broken down city including this line: “Jerusalem was tore up from the floor up!” It was good to reconnect with some of the church leaders over lunch, including Eric McDaniels, who some of you may remember from his “Lead Like Wesley” rap at our district conference. Thank you to each leader and congregation who has partnered in helping this new ministry get off the ground in South Bend!
On my way back home from South Bend, I dropped in at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church to thank Pastor Noah Farmer and their team of volunteers for hosting a community picnic. These volunteers were hard at work but they were also having lots of fun.
Last week’s meetings included coaching conversations with Rev. Andy Riemersma (Westfield ONE Church) on Tuesday, Rev. Rick Fletcher (Fort Wayne Lifeway) and Rev. David Dignal (Edgerton Wesleyan) on Wednesday, and Rev. Josh Bowlin (Marion Chapel Pike) and Pastor Ben Jones (North Liberty Beaver Creek Wesleyan) on Thursday.
On Friday, Sherry and I hosted some of the newest pastors and their spouses for an evening of fellowship in our home. Rev. Josh and Becca Bowlin (Marion Chapel Pike), Rev. Josh and Candy Fox (Hartford City Wesleyan), Rev. Jon and Lindsey Noggle (Elwood Central Wesleyan), and Rev. Phil Carder (Lafayette The Branch) were able to join us. It was a joy to welcome these newest members of our ministerial fellowship and gratifying to see the way that God is continuing to build our district team.
Saturday morning, I joined Dr. Chris Williams and Rev. Carla Working for our annual District Board of Ministerial Development orientation at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church. We had more than 30 of these key team members present for this important session. This team is entrusted with the significant responsibility of developing almost 100 emerging leaders who are answering God’s call to the ministry of Word and sacrament.
We are always excited to share the encouraging reports of life change from churches across our district. Rev. Nathan Richardson and the team at Indianapolis Southview Wesleyan Church celebrated a baptism last Sunday morning. We rejoice with them in another life being #MadeNew!
Dr. Steve Bray and the team at Richmond LifeSpring Church celebrated 20 baptisms at an outdoor service last evening. What a wonderful way to celebrate these lives #MadeNew in Christ!
Pastor Matthew and the team at The River Church in Marion continue to see a wonderful season of harvest in the middle school ministry led by Pastor Sam Kauerauf. They celebrated three more baptisms yesterday with nearly 900 in attendance between the three services. Praise the Lord!
Don’t miss out on our day-long Celebration of Holiness featuring Dr. Chris Bounds, Dr. Jonathan Morgan, and Dr Steve DeNeff. This one-day Crossroads District event is hosted at College Wesleyan Church and co-sponsored by Wesley Seminary. The cost is $20 which includes your lunch and a copy of Dr. Kevin Watson’s new book, Perfect Love. This event is open to pastors, lay leaders, and students. Here’s the link:
Several of our district churches are hosting 21 Days of Prayer over these next three weeks. If you’d like to link up with us via the online resources, here’s the website:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent