The team at Arise Wesleyan Church welcomed me on Sunday morning, October 1, to bring greetings from the district and a message from God’s Word. Roanoke Arise, located in the southwest corner of Allen County, is one of our newest congregations.
Pastor Aldean Pablo, Jesse, his wife, and their three sons, stepped out in faith to launch this new ministry three years ago with support from their pastor, Rev. Mark Atkinson, and with Gas City Eastview Wesleyan as their sending church. They also received support from Fort Wayne area churches and others across the district. Last year they averaged 65 in worship with 12 professions of faith. Pastor Aldean and the team at ARISE have celebrated 4 baptisms in the past few weeks!
Sunday evening, the congregation at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church hosted a pastoral installation service for Rev. Mark and Pam Wooten. Rev. Mark Wooten comes back to The Wesleyan Church after serving for the past 19 years as senior pastor at The Church of the Nazarene in Crothersville, Indiana. Following the installation service, Pastor Mark and Pam were warmly welcomed by their new church family with a reception and a shower of gift cards. I commend the pastoral search committee for their prayerful persistence. We're looking forward to great days ahead as Pastor Mark leads the team at Memorial Wesleyan!
Last week's schedule included the office staff meeting on Monday. On Tuesday, I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to connect with our Heartland Region district superintendents. Rev. Les Crossfield (Greater Ohio), Rev. Doug Preston (Indiana South), and Rev. Aaron Sherman (Kentucky-Tennessee) continue to provide effective leadership to their districts. It was exciting to hear their reports of church planting and revitalization projects. We're also blessed to partner with them in hosting the Heartland Region Gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN next April.
I met with Rev. Jacob Gibson, senior pastor at LifeSpring Church in Fountain City/Richmond, on Wednesday for our coaching conversation. Pastor Gibson is starting strong in his new leadership role. He is grateful to be building on the effective ministries of Pastor David Anderson and Dr. Steve Bray. Following our meeting, I accepted the generous invitation of Rev. Claudia Ruiz (lead pastor for the Casa network of churches) to enjoy a meal at Carlos' Kitchen, a new restaurant that she started with her campus pastors in Richmond, Carlos and Yesy Cruz. Carlos and Yesy are both preparing for ordination through the FLAMA program.
Thursday, I took in a webinar from Tony Morgan's Unstuck Group on "Structuring Your Staff to Develop Next Gen Leaders" before heading to Carmel to meet with Chris and Tammy Granados. Chris is assisting Rev. Grace Lopez at Monte de Sion Iglesia Wesleyana while he resumes his ministerial student coursework through FLAMA.
Saturday morning, supply pastor Jerry Smith and the members of Ash Street Wesleyan Church hosted a celebration of life service in memory of their former pastor Rev. Logan Westrick who passed away on August 28. Mrs. Jocelyn Lynch, long-time church treasurer and neighbor that Pastor Logan discipled, organized the service. Sister Nancy Westrick and her family were able to attend and the service included tributes and memories from friends and ministry colleagues. I represented the Crossroads District expressing our sympathies to his family and our gratitude for Rev. Westrick's 32 years of service to Ash Street Wesleyan.
Saturday afternoon, I met with Rev. Grace Lopez and another couple who are preparing for ministry through the FLAMA course of study that Pastor Lopez coordinates. I first met Walter and Diana Martir, originally from El Salvador, when they were helping with another Hispanic church that met in our Westfield building. Thank God for the leaders He is raising up to work in His harvest field!
October is Pastor Appreciation Month for churches across America. Harvest Church in McCordsville took the first Sunday of October as their opportunity to bless their new pastor, Rev. Scott Ferguson. We are also celebrating with Harvest Church as they baptized another new believer yesterday!
The River Church hosted a revival night at Marion High School on Saturday, September 30, led by Zeb Nelson and partners in the community. We were excited to hear that 23 students prayed to receive Christ and 11 new believers were baptized. Praise God for lives #MadeNew!
Breaking news! The early bird registration for FOLLOW has been extended to Friday, October 6, so please take advantage of this window to register at the lowest price. Please invest in your students to be part of FOLLOW and make this event a matter of focused prayer support!
I’m looking forward to hosting our retired ministers and their spouses for our annual fall fellowship this Friday, October 6, 10:00 a.m., at College Wesleyan Church in Marion. Dr. Joe Harmon will be our guest speaker. You may still RSVP by emailing email@example.com or by calling the district office at 765-674-8593.
Rev. C.K. Chitty is leading our Crossroads District Senior Adult Ministry (SAM). He and his team have planned a special event on December 1st at the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis for our seniors. Here’s the link to register (only a few spots remaining):
Thank you for making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent