Sunday, July 28, was another great day in the Crossroads District! My morning began with a drop-in visit at Harvest Church in McCordsville. It was good to catch up with Pastor Brad LeRoy and his team. They are welcoming a new youth pastor this year, Jenn Munsell, and are in the searching process for a full-time worship leader.
Mike Morgan, who also works full-time at Global Partners, has served with excellence in this role for the past 3 years in a part-time capacity. Pastor Brad and the congregation honored Mike and Joni for the servant-hearted leadership as part of the Harvest team. Dr. Joe Harmon was the guest speaker for the day and brought a challenging message about being on mission with God. Pastor LeRoy has some new health concerns and we want to continue to stand with him in prayer.
I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Ervin Webster and the wonderful folks at Saint Stephen Church in Warren Park for their 11:30 service. Pastor Ervin and Karen Webster serve so well in difficult circumstances with limited resources. The testimonies of life transformation through the power of the Gospel were inspiring. Addicts are being set free, prostitutes are being redeemed, and families are being restored. It is always a delight to preach to this responsive congregation and to affirm the good work that God is doing through this team. Rev. Webster is a self-employed bi-vocational pastor who is also a licensed plumber. He would welcome the opportunity to assist you or your referrals.
Sunday evening, we had a wonderful turnout to officially install and welcome Rev. Joe and Jennifer Jackson to United Wesleyan Church and our Crossroads District team. Rev. Clifton Ashlock has retired after 20 years of effective ministry with this Anderson congregation. His gracious spirit and wisdom have helped make this a positive transition. Joe and Jennifer and their talented family are returning home to Indiana after serving as church planters in Florida. Members, friends and Jackson family members joined together for the service and the fellowship meal that followed. I am grateful to the strong showing of our Madison County pastors who came out to welcome the Jacksons.
Fairmount Family Camp concluded last evening. I was blessed to join in on three of the evening services. Rev. Christy Lipscomb and Rev. Nathan Metz were anointed for this week of ministry. Josh Lavender is a gift to the church in his worship leading. It was a personal joy to reconnect with Pastor Adam and Pastor Christy Lipscomb. They are two of my heroes. They planted City Life Church while we served together in Michigan and Pastor Christy blessed our team by becoming my Assistant District Superintendent. I was also able to connect with Josh Delph, the new chair of Fairmount Camp’s Board of Trustees. I am encouraged by the passion and wisdom that he is bringing to this key role.
Last week’s appointments included a meeting with Pastor Duane Seitz for an update on Silver Lake’s revitalization journey, a meeting with the staff at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion, a meeting with our district staff, a meeting with Pastor Logan Patriquin in Lafayette to explore the possibility of hosting a new Hispanic ministry launch at the Branch, a site visit to the River Church campus in Chesterton with Pastor Matthew Trexler and campus leader Andy Hammonds, and a conference call with my 3 superintendent colleagues in the Heartland Region as we prepare for the upcoming planning retreat and our joint ministerial gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN, on March 10-12, 2020.
Two of our district families were touched by grief in the last several days. The funeral for the mother of Rev. Duane Cragen, assistant pastor at Lancaster Wesleyan Church, was held on Thursday morning with Rev. Gary Bingham presiding. The funeral for Rev. Tim McClellan, senior pastor at Lakeview Wesleyan Church, was held on Saturday afternoon with Dr. Steve DeNeff preaching. I’m thankful for each of the Crossroads District ministers who joined me in showing our support for these families by attending these services. Please continue to remember these families in your prayers.
We continue to receive exciting reports from across our district as our churches celebrate baptisms, one tangible marker of lives made new and disciples making disciples. Baptism reports have come in from Dr. Steve Bray at Fountain City Wesleyan Church, from Pastor David Shafer and Pastor James Stamper at North Anderson Wesleyan Church and from Pastor Zack and Pastor Carla Working at Huntington Hope Rising Church. Our pastors have submitted faith goal cards for nearly 1100 baptisms in this new conference year. Goals like that sharpen our focus and strengthen our faith as we depend on God to empower us to partner with Him in Kingdom expansion.
Rev. Dr. Lenny Luchetti was introduced yesterday morning as the interim pastor for Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church. Dr. Luchetti will continue serving full-time on the faculty at Wesley Seminary but will be the primary preacher and point person for ministry leaders during this conference year. The members of the pastoral search team, including Bob Burchell as chair of the team, were announced yesterday at Lakeview.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership as we work together in the power of the Holy Spirit to advance God’s Kingdom here in the Crossroads District!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent