Sunday morning, February 20, Pastor Scott McDermid and the team at Sheridan Six Points welcomed me to be part of their morning service. Pastor Scott preached from John 8 while I had the opportunity to greet the congregation and lead in prayer. I had not been in a worship service at Six Points since before the pandemic so it was encouraging to be with them and see the strong attendance of approximately 150, both in worship and children’s ministry, compared to 101 as the average last year.
Their youth ministry is healthy and growing under the leadership of Andrew Colaw. After a brief meeting with their LBA, the pastoral staff and I shared lunch together. New homes continue to be built in their community and they are welcoming new families almost every month.
On my way to visit with Six Points, I was able to check in with Pastor Andy and Leanza Riemersma as they were getting ready for their 9 a.m. service. Westfield ONE Church launched on January 23 and their team is encouraged by the positive response they are seeing in their services with about 160 present for in-person worship over the past 4 weeks. They are grateful for the prayers and financial support of the Crossroads District team.
Sunday afternoon, I met with Pastor Neftali Lopez and the leadership team at Carmel Amistad Iglesia Cristiana. Pastor Neftali and Grace (his wife) have been effectively serving Amistad for the past 6 years. In addition to pastoring, Neftali is a chaplain for military students enrolled with IWU Global and National, he is the operations manager for a growing chain of restaurants, and he is completing his doctoral studies at Liberty University. Rev. Lopez inspires and challenges me!
Pastor Neftali also joined us to help lead the Crossroads District prayer gathering graciously hosted by Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck at Noblesville Circle of Hope Church (formerly Lakeview Wesleyan). Rev. Theo Griffin (Greenfield Browns Chapel), Rev. Andy Riemersma (Westfield ONE), and Rev. Scott Rhyno (Fishers Waterline Church) also helped in leading portions of the prayer service.
We were blessed to have prayer participants from across Indianapolis and as far away as Winchester (Pastor Yaryan) join us for this one hour of united prayer. Our next district prayer gathering will be hosted by Rev. Dan Fisher and the team at Delphi Wesleyan Church on Sunday, March 13, (6 p.m.). The following month we will be coming back to the Marion area on Sunday, April 10, when we’ll be hosted by Rev. Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church. We welcome you and your church to join us for these prayer gatherings!
This was another full week with wonderful opportunities to serve our team. After our Monday staff meeting, Rev. Carla Working and I met with Dr. Jim Lo and Dr. David Smith. We’ve been receiving very positive feedback from the churches where they have ministered this year and have asked them to serve our team again in the coming year as our “Circuit Riders.” Dr. Lo will continue his theme, calling us to be people of prayer, and Dr. Smith will continue his theme, calling us to be people of the Word. We’re looking to add another Circuit Rider to the team this coming year with a focus on personal evangelism.
Tuesday morning, I met (via Zoom) with the General Board’s Subcommittee on Memorials in preparation for the upcoming General Board meeting. Tuesday afternoon, I met with Brandon Shroyer, youth pastor at Tipton Trinity, for our first coaching conversation. My last meeting of the day was with Rev. Logan Westrick and the LBA at Tipton Ash Street Wesleyan. Please remember Rev. Westrick in your prayers as he deals with serious health concerns.
Wednesday morning I met with Rev. Clifton Ashlock and Rev. Dan Fisher in Kokomo for a conversation about sharpening our district’s focus on God’s gracious call to holy living in the power of the Holy Spirit. That was followed by an inspiring coaching conversation over lunch with Dr. Steve DeNeff (College Wesleyan Church) that resulted in his generous invitation for College Wesleyan to partner with the Crossroads District to host a “Celebration of Holiness” in the fall of 2022.
The highlight of Thursday was convening our Crossroads District Board of Administration for our third quarterly meeting. Rev. Jeff Luedtke and the staff at The Branch in Fairmount also do a fantastic job of hosting these meetings in their upper room. In addition to our regular business items, Pastor Riemersma brought an update from ONE Church and Dr. Matthew Stewart (Sweetser Wesleyan) brought an update from the NEXT Level revitalization projects that he is coaching. We look forward to continuing this initiative in the next conference year and would love to have your church participate.
General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt joined the DBA for the quadrennial review of the DS in preparation for the vote at this year’s district conference. The DBA voted to recommend that the conference consider an extended call. We were also pleased to have Dr. Schmidt join us for the supper meal and a good time of fellowship with our board members.
On Friday, I had a meeting at Gas City Eastview Church in the morning and then met with Rev. Claudia Silva in Muncie on Friday afternoon for an update on positive developments at Richmond Casa del Alfarero. In addition to her full-time employment in a dentist’s office, Pastor Claudia leads our church in Richmond and also ministers to another growing congregation in Union City.
The highlight of Friday was joining our District Youth President Rev. Jessica Folz along with more than 500 teens and their sponsors at the annual Crossroads District All-Nighter in Fort Wayne. Rev. Lane Sander (Bluffton Sonlight) and Rev. Andy Jellison (Fort Wayne Lifeway) were key leaders in establishing this great event. It was terrific to see our teenagers back worshiping together after the challenges of the past 2 years.
I was also able to welcome Rev. Josh and Rebecca Bowlin back home to the Crossroads District. After several years serving with the Wesleyan churches in New Zealand, Pastor Josh has accepted the call to succeed Rev. Steve Colter as Lead Pastor for Marion Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church. Rebecca has accepted an administrative position with IWU. Their family is getting settled into their home in Amboy and two of their children were part of the strong delegation from Chapel Pike attending the All-Nighter.
We love celebrating the reports of new life in Christ that come in from our district family. Pastor Dan Fisher and the team at Delphi Wesleyan Church were rejoicing again yesterday with another baptism, the third in this conference year with more on the way. Attendance is rebounding from last year’s average of 38 with 47 present yesterday. Nearly 50% of their congregation now are people who have become part of the church family since the pandemic started. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. – The 2022 FUEL Conference that was snowed out last week is still coming to Muncie but is now rescheduled for April 21-22! Please encourage your youth and children’s ministry leaders to invest in their personal & ministry development by attending. For questions, email District Youth President Jessica Folz at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on FUEL, visit: