Rising Hope, Region 2, and Baptisms
Rising Hope Church in Muncie was my destination on Sunday morning, January 26. It was a joy to worship with this young congregation. The last time I was with them for a Sunday service was when they first launched in the middle school. Pastor Mike Hewitt was out of town with an evangelism team but Kim Hewitt and the team did a wonderful job hosting the service and leading us in worship.
I enjoyed meeting an energetic group of Ball State University students who sit up front. At the rate they are growing, they will soon need to launch a second worship service. It was also good to reconnect with several of the senior citizens who caught the vision for planting this new church. Rising Hope is a terrific example of what can happen when our Crossroads District churches partner together to launch new congregations to help reach the 3 million people without Christ in Indiana. Thank you for each one of you who continues to pray for and support church planting here in our mission field.
Sunday afternoon, I was privileged to bring greetings, read Scripture and pray at the 34th Anniversary of Calvary Family Church in Indianapolis. Rev. Barry & Joyce Dixon provide loving and faithful leadership to this urban congregation. Pastor Barry is another of our committed bi-vocational pastors and also serves on the District Board of Administration. There was a great turnout and beautiful spirit of worship. Pray for the Dixons and Calvary Family Church as they reach out to their community.
Last Monday, I represented the district team at the funeral of Rev. Glenn Weller and then joined in the monthly Zoom call for the Heartland Region District Superintendents. We’re counting the days until the Heartland Gathering in Pigeon Forge, March 10-12.
Tuesday morning, I joined Assistant DS Mike Colaw and the Region 2 pastors at Trinity Wesleyan Church for a conversation about “The State of the Church.” I am optimistic about the future of The Wesleyan Church because of the leaders around these tables.
Tuesday evening, I met with Pastor Neftali and Grace Lopez in Fishers. Rev. Lopez leaders our Carmel Amistad congregation and works with Dr. Norman Wilson and Rev. Eliorgy Guerrero to provide leadership to our Hispanic ministries.
Wednesday was an office day before heading to New Castle for a coaching conversation with Rev. Eric George, pastor of New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church. I’m looking forward to worshiping with their congregation on February 16.
Thursday morning, I met with Pastor Don Glenn (Nelson Street Wesleyan) before heading to Fishers to meet with Pastor John Freed (Waterline Church). I was encouraged to hear about the progress that Waterline is making at their Pendleton campus. Multi-site ministry can be a challenge for any size church and the Waterline team has responded well to the learning curve in this new venture.
Thursday evening, I stopped by Eastview Wesleyan Church to see their monthly community meal outreach. Pastor Mark Atkinson has a committed team of volunteers who host this event each month. It was good to see the conversations and connections that this ministry provides with their neighbors.
Friday evening, I caught up with Assistant DS Chris Williams, Rev. Don Bayne, and Rev. Paul James who were serving as the Maximizing Impact team with Pastor Duane Seitz and the Silver Lake Wesleyan Church. Pastor Duane and JoEllen Seitz have served sacrificially for the past few years and seen spiritual victories. The church does have challenges as they face the future and this weekend was an opportunity for the congregation to take a look at the best path forward. Pray as they seek God’s direction for their next steps. We are deeply indebted to Rev. Paul James who has served as a Maximizing Impact consultant to over 30 Crossroads District churches since 2015.
Saturday morning, I was able to drop in on the Spiritual Warfare Seminar that Dr. Jim Lo was presenting at Ash Street Wesleyan Church in Tipton. Pastor Logan Westrick was very encouraged by the positive impact of this weekend. I am grateful for Dr. Lo’s willingness to bring this ministry to our churches. If you’ve not yet scheduled this workshop for your team, Dr. Lo still has a few dates available. You can reach him at email@example.com.
I met with Lay Supply Pastor Kay Dickerson and Bill, her husband and co-laborer, for lunch in Frankfort. They are continuing to see progress in their ministry at Kirklin Wesleyan Church with 3 recent baptisms and 96 attending their New Year’s Eve communion service. They are having a big impact in a small community.
Saturday afternoon, I accepted an invitation from David Kelly to drop in at the new regional office for WellSpring Ministry in downtown Marion. It was good to see Pastor Joe Kelly and so many other friends and supporters of this vital ministry.
It is always exciting to receive baptism reports from Crossroads District churches. This week I received photos and a report from Dr. Steve Bray and LifeSpring Church in Richmond. Pastor Steve wrote: “I wanted to report 9 baptisms from this past weekend at LifeSpring Church! So far this year we have seen 40 baptisms (compared to 35 last year). PTL! Our faith commitment at Conference was for 50 baptisms. While we are grateful for all He has done, we have one more baptism scheduled in April, and we are asking God for 10 more!”
Pastor Logan Patriquin and the team at The Branch Wesleyan Church in Lafayette celebrated four more baptisms yesterday as God continues to work through them to see lives changed by the Gospel. Our faith goal as the Crossroads District this year was to pray and work toward baptizing 1000 new believers. If you haven’t yet scheduled a baptism day and offered baptism preparation classes, there’s still time to plan for baptisms in conjunction with Palm Sunday and Easter.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
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