Thank you to every Crossroads District church who joins us in praying and giving through our Great Commission Fund for the planting of new churches. Yesterday, January 23, ONE Church launched in Westfield with three Sunday services led by Pastor Andy and Leanza Riemersma.
This exciting new church is our first district partnership with Pastor Kevin Myers’s team at 12Stone Church, and Pastor Chris Hodges’ network at ARC (Association of Related Churches). Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, and Dr. Ed Love, Wesleyan Church Multiplication Director were in attendance along with Pastor Mike Colaw and other representatives from Indy Trinity Wesleyan, the mother church for this project. The snowfall may have hindered some from joining us but there were 295 attending in person with another 65 joining online. Most importantly, 9 people prayed with Pastor Andy to receive Christ as Lord!
Here’s the link to watch a highlights video from the first day of ONE Church:
After the three services at ONE Church, I dropped in on Pastor Nicolas and Pastor Adriana Zarate’s afternoon Spanish-language service at Noblesville Circle of Hope. Please pray for the Zarates as they make an urgent trip to be with Adriana’s father who is in critical condition in Venezuela.
My final meeting on Sunday afternoon was with the Local Board of Administration at Elwood Central Wesleyan Church as they prepare to launch their search process. Please join us in praying as they seek the pastor that God is preparing to lead this team.
Last Monday morning, I dropped in on the leadership cohort that Assistant DS Matthew Trexler leads for our Region 1 pastors. Kyle Bloom, coach of the IWU golf team, welcomed the cohort and shared an encouraging devotional. Kyle and Pastor Rob Tippey, who is also part of the coaching staff, gave the pastors a chance to work on their swing in the IWU golf team’s training facility.
Monday, during the lunch hour, Rev. Mike Hewitt (pastor of Muncie Rising Hope and Crossroads District Church Planting Champion) convened several of our district church planters to meet with the Riemersmas and pray through the building in which ONE Church is launching. Pastor Mike also cast vision for stronger collaboration among our multiplying churches as we reach out to the 3 million.
Our district office team met after the prayer gathering and then I traveled on to Tipton to meet with the LBA at Trinity Wesleyan Church. We had a very positive meeting with Pastor Johnnie Blair and his board. Tipton Trinity continues to make strong progress even during the pandemic.
Tuesday morning, I participated in the Brooksville Wesleyan Village Board meeting via Zoom and then on Tuesday evening, I met with Dr. Chris Williams and the LBA at Marion Lakeview Church. Pastor Chris is doing a terrific job leading the turnaround at Lakeview.
Wednesday’s coaching conversations included Pastor Bob McHenry (Marion Nelson Street), Pastor Gary Bingham, and Assistant Pastor Jessica Teegarden (Marion Hillside). I was in the northeast part of our district on Thursday morning to connect with Pastor David Leitzel (Hamilton Wesleyan) and then met with Assistant Pastor Chip Bos (Marion College) before closing out the day with the LBA at Wabash New Journey Community Church.
On Friday, we had the blessing of hosting two local church leaders from the underground church in China for a quick visit to IWU and a lunch together with some of our pastors. Dr. Mark Rennaker, pastor of Kokomo Southdowns Wesleyan Church and chair of the Department of Leadership Studies at IWU, helped make their visit meaningful as they explored avenues of cooperation for dozens of underground Christian elementary schools and for university faculty members who are part of their underground church. The lunch gathering lasted nearly two hours. What I’ll remember most is their testimony that “It is an honor for us to be persecuted for the name of Jesus.”
Friday evening, Sherry and I hosted five of our district pastors and their spouses for an evening of fellowship and prayer. This was a fun group, some of whom were meeting like this for the first time. I was encouraged to hear some of them making plans to connect on their own again soon. We really are stronger together.
Dr. Steve Bray and the team at Richmond LifeSpring Church had the privilege of baptizing two new believers yesterday. Pastor Dan VanDuyne had the special privilege of baptizing his oldest daughter. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew!
The District Youth All-Nighter is back and once again open to all of our 100+ churches and youth ministries across the district. The All-Nighter will be held Friday, February 18, 2022 at Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne with registration beginning at 6:30pm. For more information and to register, visit: https://districtallnighter2022.eventbrite.com
This is the final week! 324 have already registered for The Heartland Gathering. Have you? Don’t miss out on this special event in Pigeon Forge, TN. Register today for the Heartland Gathering on March 22-24, 2022. For the speaker lineup and more detailed information, please visit: https://gathering.heartlandregion.org
Please pray for wisdom as several of our churches move into the search process for new pastors. This is often the most important decision a congregation will ever make. In addition to those previously announced, Rev. Mark Atkinson, pastor of Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church, shared his plan to retire (June 2022) with their congregation in yesterday’s services. Pastor Mark has done an outstanding job leading Eastview and we hope to keep him engaged in coaching district pastors in his “retirement.”
May God continue to strengthen you and your church team as you make disciples who make disciples.
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent