Sunday morning, February 16, I was in New Castle to worship with Pastor Eric George and the congregation of Memorial Wesleyan Church. The technical team was scrambling after an equipment failure but they were able to patch something together in time for the service (thank you, Mark!). I appreciated the warm reception and the privilege of preaching to this responsive congregation. After the service, I had a brief meeting with the LBA before heading on to Carmel.
Sunday afternoon, I met with Pastor Neftali Lopez and the leadership team at Carmel Amistad Cristiana Iglesia Wesleyana for a ministry planning session. I was able to arrive in time to bring greetings in the service and then to enjoy a cup of coffee in their spacious new welcome center. This is a wonderful multi-generational congregation and I appreciate the leadership that Pastor Neftali brings both to his church and to our Crossroads District Hispanic ministries.
Last Monday, I represented our Crossroads District team at the funeral service for Rev. Dr. John Dunn, retired CEO of Wesleyan Investment Foundation, former district superintendent and church planter. Dr. Kevin Myers officiated the memorial service, General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt brought remarks on behalf of The Wesleyan Church, and Dr. Craig Dunn shared cherished memories from the family. Dr. Dunn left an amazing legacy of faithful leadership in the The Wesleyan Church. His family carries that legacy well. Please remember the Dunn family in your prayers.
Monday afternoon, I met with Pastor Theo Griffin (Greenfield Brown’s Chapel) for our annual coaching conversation. We are delighted to have Theo and Randy as the newest members of our Crossroads District team.
Monday evening, I was with Pastor George and the LBA at New Castle Memorial as they prepared for the upcoming pastoral vote. I was reminded once again of how deeply The Wesleyan Church is indebted to faithful lay leaders who serve alongside pastors to provide direction and protection to the ministry of our congregations.
Tuesday morning, I met with our district office staff for planning and prayer. Seth Bye reported that more than 300 have registered for the first Heartland Gathering next month in Pigeon Forge. Pastor Dan VanCise (Marion West 8th Street) and I met over lunch for our annual coaching conversation.
Pastor Aldean Pablo and I met for our coaching conversation and an exciting update on doors that God is opening for our SEND Church planting project in Fort Wayne. Please remember Aldean and Jesse in your prayers as they lead this disciple-making mission.
Tuesday evening, I joined the LBA at North Anderson Wesleyan Church as they prepared for the upcoming pastor vote. The board enthusiastically affirmed the ministry that Pastor David Shafer and Rev. James Stamper are bringing to the congregation. Both of these effective leaders serve their church bi-vocationally.
Wednesday morning, Pastor Steve Colter (Marion Chapel Pike Wesleyan) and I met for our annual coaching conversation in Marion. The next coaching conversation was with Rev. Paul Walden, supply pastor at the Muncie 8th Street Wesleyan Church. While in Muncie, Rev. Mike Hewitt and I connected with a prospective church planter who is prayerfully considering a project in the Yorktown community. Join us in praying that God will send workers into His harvest!
Thursday morning, after teaching at IWU, I met with Dr. Colleen Derr, our president of Wesley Seminary. I am grateful for the leadership she is bringing to this vital ministry that is training so many of our present and future leaders for The Wesleyan Church.
Co-pastors Carla and Zach Working met with me over lunch in Marion to update me on the ministry of Hope Rising in Huntington and the possibility of expanding the impact of their congregation in neighboring communities.
My final meeting of the day was with the leadership team at Wabash New Journey Community Church. They are celebrating significant progress in updating their facility and their technical capacity. Pastor Brian Scramlin has done a terrific job following in the footsteps of the church planter, Tom Cochran.
Friday morning, Assistant DS Chris Williams and I met in Marion. I was in Fishers for a lunch meeting with Rev. Scott Rhyno, General Manager of Leadership League. Nancy Schoonmaker, District Treasurer, and I met via Zoom in the afternoon to prepare for this week’s DBA meeting and to begin budget preparations for the coming conference year.
Nancy Schoonmaker has done an incredible job serving as Crossroads District Treasurer since our district was created in 2016. In addition to her many other responsibilities at IWU, with national boards, and in her local church, Nancy has just started a doctoral program. In light of that, we’re reluctantly accepting her resignation at the rise of the conference with our deep gratitude and prayers for every success in her new endeavor.
Dr. Richard Schenck, Rev. Emily Hines, and Rev. David Hines were in Bangladesh representing our Crossroads District partnership and serving alongside Rev. Joshe Bose, National Director, for the annual conference and leadership training. The Wesleyan Church of Bangladesh began with 11 churches in 2002 and today has grown to 56 congregations with 2,185 members. Four new churches were launched in the past 12 months with 140 new believers. Up to 95% of the members of these churches are new believers reached through the Jesus film and evangelistic efforts of church planters.
Here in Indiana, our own mission field, we are celebrating with churches reporting baptisms this past week. Pastor Jeremy Armiger and Assistant Pastor Dr. Jim Lo had the privilege of baptizing a new sister in Christ at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning. Carol’s story is unique in that she was delivered from involvement in Wicca. Praise God for setting captives free!
Pastor Jim Weinmann and the Indianapolis Evanston Avenue Wesleyan Church are also rejoicing this week. Pastor Jim has the privilege of baptizing a new believer on Sunday morning. Due to physical limitations from a stroke, Pastor Jim was glad to accommodate her with a pouring baptism. We join the team at Evanston Avenue Wesleyan Church in celebrating another life made new by the grace of God!
Thank you for all that you are doing to advance the Kingdom in your corner of His Harvest!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent