Sunday morning, March 20, Rev. John and Beth Hannan welcomed me to worship with them and bring the morning message at CrossRoads Church in Union City. CrossRoads is one of our newest churches having launched on September 27, 2020. Some of you may know the story, but John and Beth had returned to Union City, their hometown, from Virginia to care for aging parents with declining health. John had done some interim ministry in the area but really wanted to be back in pastoral service in The Wesleyan Church.
Rev. Hannan considered openings that would have required moving away from their hometown but he became increasingly convinced that God had a better plan. He and Beth accepted the challenging call to plant this new church not knowing that a pandemic was coming. Confident of God’s call, they stepped out in faith as bi-vocational church planters with a vision to start a church “Where Everyone Matters.” They averaged 38 in worship last year with 12 baptisms. Praise the Lord!
God has blessed their ministry in so many wonderful ways, the most recent of which was the unexpected donation of a handicapped-accessible van that will enable them to bring up to three persons in wheelchairs. Pastor John made the first run on Sunday bringing two members of their church family and has recruited a driver who will care for this ministry going forward. It was a joy to join hands around the van for a prayer of thanksgiving and consecration. Please remember Pastor John, Beth, and the CrossRoads team in your prayers!
Sunday afternoon, I joined Pastor Claudia Silva and the growing congregation at Richmond Casa del Alfarero (The Potter’s House) for their worship service. In addition to leading this ministry, Pastor Claudia also leads a Hispanic congregation in Union City which has Saturday evening and Sunday morning services. She has been praying that God would raise up a campus pastor to work with her in Richmond. God has answered her prayer and I was pleased to participate with Rev. Silva in the consecration service for Carlos and Yesy Cruz who will be leading the Richmond campus under her direction. Rev. Silva is praying that God will continue to provide wisdom as more ministry doors are opening in the area.
Last week began with our district office staff meeting in Marion followed by a District Conference planning committee meeting led by Rev. Carla Working. Monday evening, I met with Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent, and the other members of the General Board’s Executive Committee of The Wesleyan Church in preparation for our General Board meeting.
The full General Board of The Wesleyan Church met last week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Among other items of business, the General Board nominated general officer candidates for the next quadrennium. Incumbent general officers Anita Eastlack (Church Multiplication and Discipleship), Dennis Jackson (Global Partners), and Janelle Vernon (Communication and Administration) are being recommended to the 14th General Conference for reelection to their current posts. General Treasurer Kevin Batman is elected directly by the General Board and continues serving his present term.
The most exciting development in nominations was that Rev. Johanna Rugh, The Wesleyan Church’s Director of Spanish Ministry Education and Formation, has been recommended as the new Executive Director of the Education and Clergy Development (ECD) Division. When elected, Rev. Rugh will be the first Hispanic Executive Director in the history of The Wesleyan Church.
The final recommendations on proposed memorials (resolutions) to be considered at the 14th General Conference will be made available on April 1 at this website:
On Wednesday afternoon, I connected with Pastor Barry Dixon at Indianapolis Calvary Family Church and then met with Pastor Andy Riemersma at Westfield ONE Church. Thursday’s schedule included coaching conversations with the pastoral staff at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church. My final two meetings of the day were with ministers from outside The Wesleyan Church who were interested in exploring pastoral opportunities in the Crossroads District.
On Friday, Sherry and I had the joy of hosting three of our pastoral couples for an evening of fellowship and encouragement. We have a great team and evenings like this are a wonderful reminder that we are stronger together!
More than 300 Wesleyan pastors and their families from across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will be meeting in Pigeon Forge, TN, on Tuesday through Thursday this week for the Heartland Gathering. I am grateful for our partnership with the leadership teams in Indiana South, Greater Ohio, and KY-TN districts that collaborated to provide this event. Pray that God will make this a powerful time of refreshment and spiritual renewal for our frontline leaders!
Speaking of prayer, for those of you who live within an hour or so of Marion, please make plans to join us on Sunday, April 10, for our next Crossroads District prayer meeting as we prepare our hearts for Easter weekend. Thank you to Rev. Matthew Trexler, Assistant DS, and the team at The River Church for their willingness to host this gathering. We will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and plan to conclude the scheduled service by 7 p.m., with time available for those who want to continue in prayer or fellowship.
The Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund (WERF) has been activated to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. You can assist our Global Partner missionaries and partners in the Czech Republic and Poland. To read more about Wesleyan engagement, access this most recent update from HQ which includes a link for you or your church to donate:
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to the family and friends of Mrs. Bonnie Weinmann who went to be with the Lord this past Thursday, March 17. Bonnie was mother to Rev. Jim Weinmann who pastors our Evanston Avenue Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis and works with the Wesleyan Pension Fund. Jim pastors this same church that his father and mother pastored for many years. Visitation will be at Flanner & Buchanan in Broad Ripple tonight, Monday, March 21, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The funeral will be at Evanston Avenue Wesleyan Church, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22, at 11:00 a.m.
Congratulations to Rev. Duane Cragun who has accepted the initial two-year call to lead the ministry at Marion Brinker Heights Wesleyan Church. Please pray for several of our churches who are continuing their pastor search process. For a listing of these and other ministry opportunities in The Wesleyan Church, check out: https://www.wesleyan.org/jobs
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. You still have time to register your youth and children ministry leaders to be part of this important gathering on April 21-22 in Muncie, Indiana at Union Chapel Church. More info: Fuel