Our Crossroads District family is grieving with the family and friends of Rev. Ben Capshaw, age 41, who was tragically killed in a car accident on Thursday morning, August 19. Pastor Ben not only served Elwood Central Wesleyan Church faithfully for nine years, but he was a pastor to the whole community. We extend our deepest sympathy and continued prayers to Mrs. Amanda Capshaw, his wife, and two sons, Isaac (age 13) and Noah (age 10). The district, the local church, and the entire Elwood community have stepped up to surround this family with love and support. Here’s the link to one newspaper report:
Dr. Jim Lo preached at Elwood Central Wesleyan Church yesterday morning and ministered graciously to this grieving family and congregation. At the close of the service the congregation gathered around the Capshaw family for prayer and Dr. Lo led in a time of anointing with oil for those who longed to experience a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit.
The Crossroads District Board of Administration met in emergency session on Saturday morning and approved a challenge grant to match the first $10,000 donated by our local churches to meet the immediate needs of the Capshaw family. To participate in the match, churches are receiving love offerings through this coming Sunday. (Pastors received emails with additional information.)
The Celebration of Life service will take place at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Elwood High School Auditorium. Rev. Roger Gardner, his mentor, and I will be officiating. Visitation with the family will follow the service from 2 to 5 pm in the auditorium. I am grateful in advance that our pastoral team members will make every effort to be present to support Ben’s family. https://www.copherfeslermay.com/obituary/rev-benjamin-capshaw
We’re also praying for Mrs. Breanne Merrill, wife of Assistant Pastor Seth Merrill (New Carlisle Wesleyan Church) with news of the unexpected death of her father, Mr. Butch Faulkner. The funeral will be held today, August 23, at the First Church of the Nazarene in Chattanooga. Please remember Breanne and her family in your prayers.
LifeSpring Church in Richmond graciously invited me to speak on Saturday evening and for both Sunday morning services at their North campus while Dr. Steve and Susan Bray are on their 10-week sabbatical. After the Saturday evening service, I enjoyed connecting with the Brays at our favorite ice-cream stop. Pastor David & Jill Anderson and Marcia and Darrell Shepherd graciously hosted me for lunch on Sunday. Both Darrell and David were on the DBA when I was first called to serve here in Indiana. The LifeSpring worship arts and technical team did a great job, even when I threw them a curveball. Attendance has been rebounding at both campuses and we’re praying with them for a great season of harvest.
Sunday afternoon, I stopped back in Elwood to visit and pray with Amanda Capshaw and her parents, Rev. Matt and Cheryl Miller, before heading on to the closing service of “Old Time Camp Meeting” at Fairmount Camp. Dr. Bud Bence was used of God throughout the services this past week. He closed the camp with a challenge for believers to be fruitful vines (Genesis 49:22) like Joseph. Congratulations to Executive Director Angela Spangler and her team for this encouraging week of ministry. Dr. Bence continues to be a fruitful vine in the Kingdom and I was grateful to learn of his willingness to make some dates available to preach in nearby churches. You can reach out to Dr. Bence directly or through our office.
Last week included General Board Zoom meetings, staff meetings in Marion and Hartford City, coaching conversations with pastors, meeting with the Elwood Central LBA, and signing legal documents for district churches. It was a real joy to meet over lunch on Friday with Dr. Chris Bounds, the new Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dr. Bounds will be transferring to become a member of our Crossroads team next year but he’s already excited to share in ministry with our pastors and congregations so please reach out and welcome him!
Saturday morning, I joined with three of our churches for the second weekly gathering as they partner for “21 Days of Prayer.” This Saturday’s gathering was hosted by Pastor Tony Bye at Brookhaven. Last week was hosted by Rev. Chris Williams at Lakeview, and the final Saturday gathering will be hosted by Rev. Matthew Trexler on August 28, 8 a.m., at The River Church. Something special happens when pastors and churches share together in ministry!
We continue to celebrate the way that God is changing lives across our district. If you have baptism reports, please email or text me so we can share the good news with our team. This week, I am excited to report that Pastor Matthew Trexler and The River Church baptized two new believers and that Rev. Gary Bingham and the Hillside Wesleyan Church also baptized two new believers. Praise God for these four who publicly professed their faith in Christ on Sunday. We are rejoicing with Heaven for these lives #MadeNew!
In weeks like this, I am reminded of Richard Baxter’s personal sense of urgency and this challenge to we who serve as pastors. Baxter was a Puritan pastor (1615-1691) who was effectively used of God in his generation. He wrote:
I preach’d, as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men!
Please, God, stir us with urgency and anoint us with power of your Holy Spirit so that we make this week count for your Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent