Sunday morning, January 30, marked the launch day for ARISE Church in Roanoke. Pastor Aldean Pablo was sent out from Gas City Eastview Church to plant a new church in this growing community in southwest Allen County. God opened doors for a small UMC group to join with Aldean’s team last year. Both groups had names and their identity but they were committed to relaunching under the new name, ARISE.
Gas City Eastview sent a good delegation to support the launch. IWU President Dr. David and Helen Wright, lifelong friends of the Pablo family, were also present. Pastor Aldean’s middle name is Wayne, in honor of Dr. Wayne Wright, David’s father and missionary pioneer in the Philippines. I joined the ARISE team at 9 for pre-service worship and then they prayed over every seat and every corner of the building. The worship service began at 10 with 145 in attendance. What a wonderful start to this new church. Please keep the Pablos and ARISE Church in your prayers as they make disciples in Roanoke.
Sunday afternoon, I joined Rev. David Leitzel and the Local Board of Administration at Hamilton Wesleyan Church for their review in preparation for the upcoming pastoral vote. Pastor Dave and Carol are dearly loved by this church family. One of the highlights of their ministry is the annual concert series that they host in their Life Center.
Rev. David Anderson, who led Fountain City Wesleyan Church from a congregation of 90 to averaging more than 1000 on two campuses, announced his retirement last Sunday. One of the many expressions of appreciation for his 38 years of effective ministry was being awarded the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Anderson will officially complete his service to the church in May. Dr. Steve Bray became the senior pastor after serving as the executive pastor for Pastor Anderson. Now known as LifeSpring Church, the ministry continues to have a strong regional impact under Dr. Bray’s leadership.
Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew! Pastor Tony Bye and the team at Marion Brookhaven Wesleyan Church celebrated 4 baptisms yesterday. Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church had the privilege of baptizing two new believers last Sunday. Have you scheduled your next baptism service for Palm Sunday or Easter?
Several of our district churches joined together for a focused initiative called “21 Days of Prayer” to launch into this new year of ministry. Special thanks to Rev. Tony Bye (Brookhaven Wesleyan), Dr. Chris Williams (Lakeview Wesleyan), Rev. Matthew Trexler (The River), and Rev. Johnnie Blair (Tipton Trinity) for their collaboration in providing videos for each day of the week. This past Saturday, each church gathered in their own sanctuary to conclude this season of prayer with worship and testimonies. I joined Pastor Tony Bye at Brookhaven for their closing session on Saturday morning and was blessed to hear the testimonies, especially the encouraging word from Rev. Bob Van Cise.
SPECIAL NOTE: To maximize participation, the Region 2 Prayer Gathering has been rescheduled to February 20, 6 p.m., at Circle of Hope Church in Noblesville. Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck will be our host pastors. Assistant DS Mike Colaw and Rev. Neftali Lopez will also be joining me in leading our service. We would love to have you join us for this hour of prayer as we seek God and His anointing on our ministries.
The Crossroads 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
Congratulations to Melissa and Michael Wood (staff pastor at Tipton Trinity and also with the Crossroads District) on the safe arrival of Oliver James Wood, born on Monday, January 24, 2022. Mother and son are safely home and doing well. We can’t wait to meet Oliver!
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to Rev. Ken Dykhoff (Gas City Eastview) and Rev. Shawnda Dykhoff Bilbee (Marion Brinker Heights) on the passing of Ken’s mother and Shawnda’s grandmother, Mrs. Esther Vermillion, on Wednesday, January 26. Esther was a member of Lakeview Wesleyan Church and worked for 26 years with World Gospel Mission, retiring in 1995.
Our prayers and sympathies are also extended to Rev. Dr. Colleen Derr, president of Wesley Seminary, on the passing of her brother, Rev. Stephen Wilson, on January 29. The son of Dr. Earle and Sylvia Wilson. Steve was a gifted communicator who enjoyed a long and effective ministry leading the Greeley Wesleyan Church in Colorado. Please remember Rebecca, his wife, and their family in your prayers.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,