Sunday morning, June 18, I had the privilege of worshiping with Dr. Matthew Stewart and the team at Sweetser Wesleyan Church. It was a special day as they held their first worship service back in their newly remodeled worship center. Over the past few years, the church has tackled every space, including the parking lot, to make their campus as welcoming as possible to the people they’re inviting. Congratulations were extended, not just for the beautiful remodeling project, but for the even more exciting news that Sweetser Wesleyan baptized 6 new believers last year (more than 10% of their worship attendance).
On my way to Sweetser, I dropped in on Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River. They were celebrating spiritual progress among their 130+ teenagers who attended Never The Same (NTS) Camp at IWU last week. Initial reports included 27 first-time decisions for Christ and 9 young people responding to God’s call to full-time ministry.
Crossroads District students were involved in at least three camps last week including Camp Hanging Rock (west of Lafayette), NTS Camp at IWU, and Fairmount Camp. Special thanks to every youth leader and volunteer staff member that made these life-changing experiences possible for our students.
On Monday evening, I attended Camp 180 at Fairmount Camp where Brent Dongell was serving as camp evangelist. Brent and I go back to our time together in Michigan and then we served together at Kingswood University. Brent is now on the faculty at Southern Wesleyan University and is completing his doctoral studies. Some of you may know Brent through Dr. Ollie Dongell, his father, who has been pastoring at Plymouth Wesleyan for the past 20 years.
The leadership team at Camp 180 was doing a great job of ministering to a “sold-out” week. I was able to connect with several of our district pastors who were volunteering including Rev. Dave Cox, Rev. Emily and Rev. David Hines, Rev. Andrew Kinney, and Rev. Rich Van Vuren.
Tuesday evening, Sherry and I connected with John & Lindsey Gorveatte at IWU where John was serving on the leadership team for NTS Camp Week One. Wes and Claudia Dupin, long-time friends from Michigan, were also in attendance to pray for and encourage leaders. Pastor Jacob Gibson (LifeSpring) and Pastor Steve Arnett (Mt. Zion) were two of our pastors that we found with their students before the evening rally.
Wednesday afternoon, I traveled over to the west side of our state to join Rev. Seth Merrill and his team at Hanging Rock Camp. While attendance was down slightly from previous years, the leaders and students were excited to share how God was working. Among others, I connected with Rev. Joe Jackson, Rev. Andrew Colaw, Rev. Alexander Henry, and Rev. Brent Kirby.
I enjoyed a day off with our family on Friday. Having three of our four grandchildren staying with us made the Father’s Day weekend very special!
On Saturday, Pastor Mike Colaw and the Indianapolis Trinity Wesleyan Church LBA were meeting at Shunem House in Noblesville for a planning retreat. Pastor Mike was kind enough to invite me to sit in with their team as they had significant conversations about stewarding God’s favor on their ministry. They’re experiencing wonderful spiritual momentum and believing God for even greater days ahead!
Dr. Chris and Marrieta Williams graciously invited Sherry and me to witness the wedding of their son Sean to Jenna Dawson. Dr. Chris did a masterful job of wearing both his father and pastor hats for this beautiful wedding ceremony. Congratulations and prayers for God’s blessing on this amazing couple as they begin their new life together!
Pastor Scott McDermid and a youth missions team from Sheridan Six Points Church spent last week serving in Nashville, Tennessee. Pastor Scott enjoyed sharing this experience with his older son Caleb, and they also celebrated a baptism as one of their one teenagers publicly professed her faith in Christ!
Rev. Rob Tippey and the team at Wabash New Journey Community Church continued to give God praise for the powerful ways in which He is changing lives. They celebrated two more baptisms on Sunday as Nick and Xander publicly professed their faith in Christ.
Finally! This is the week of our annual Crossroads District Conference. We will gather this Saturday in Anderson at the Madison Park Church of God. Registration opens at 8:00 am and the first session begins promptly at 9:00 am. This year, we’re hosting our ordination service as part of conference proceedings beginning at 10:30 am. We’re delighted that Dr. Jo Anne Lyon has agreed to bring the ordination sermon on this special occasion. In addition to elections and recommended items of business (including lowering USF from 10% to 9%), we will be celebrating 175 years as a district conference since the very first gathering in 1848.
The District Conference Handbook is available for review at the following link:
If you can’t join us in person, please do remember us in prayer!
Your servant in Christ,
Please pray with us as our next generation of Wesleyan leaders gather in Cincinnati for Follow Conference this December. Seminars and workshops will be available for pastors and parents so make please every effort to attend!