Sherry and I enjoyed the warm-hearted worship and fellowship with Pastor Allen and Cheryl Laws and the fine folks yesterday morning at Warren Wesleyan Church. We’d had to reschedule due to the weather closing on the previous Sunday so I was glad the sun was shining and the roads were clear yesterday. Warren is another of Indiana’s small towns with a rich history. Economic decline in the past years resulted in the high school closing and families leaving. The town does seem to be turning a corner with more jobs available.
Pastor Allen, another of our faithful bi-vocational pastors, has played a key role in the community serving with the food bank, assisting with re-employment and helping people enter addiction-recovery programs. I had a brief meeting with their leadership team after the service and then Sherry and I hosted the Laws for lunch.
Last week’s attempt was postponed by weather, but Pastor Joe & Dawn Deckard led their team in the first preview service held in Pendleton for Waterline’s new campus. They are using a building we own that formerly hosted New Life Wesleyan. It was encouraging to hear that the launch team volunteers with their families and friends totaled 56. Pray with them as they continue to build momentum with two more preview services and prepare for a full launch before Easter. Pictured here are the launch team members:
Last Tuesday, our district staff met on Tuesday morning and then I jumped in on a Zoom call with Dr. Schmidt, GS, and members of the General Board. Tuesday afternoon, I met with Pastor Ryan Budde (Westview Wesleyan Church) and then with Pastor Matthew Stewart (Sweetser Wesleyan Church) before heading south to meet with Pastor Brad LeRoy and the LBA at Harvest Church in McCordsville. Pastor Brad’s extended call was unanimously affirmed for another 4 years. The Harvest Church leadership team is also excited to welcome Rev. Chris Classen next month as their new executive pastor. Chris is presently on staff at Watermark Wesleyan Church (Hamburg, NY) and I served with Chris earlier when he was part of the staff at Kentwood Community Church in Michigan. Pastor Brad LeRoy is enjoying better days on the health front after the past few difficult years. He and Heid are surrounded and loved by the strong and supportive team at Harvest.
Wednesday morning, I met with Pastor Lee Miller (Muncie Memorial Drive) and then met with Rev. Kim Gladden, Director of Discipleship, at HQ to learn more about the upcoming discipleship initiatives she has planned. https://www.wesleyan.org/discipleship
Pastor Joe Deckard joined me for lunch and an update on their progress in building the team in Pendleton. Wednesday evening, I met with Pastor Mark Atkinson and then with the Eastview Wesleyan Church LBA as they completed their 4-year review and unanimously affirmed Pastor Mark’s extended call.
Thursday, I was wiped out by a flu bug or virus of some kind, so special thanks to those who were willing to reschedule our appointments.
Assistant DS Chris Williams led the district conference planning team that met at Abbey Coffee on Thursday morning. We’re excited to partner with Indiana Wesleyan University this year as they host our event in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center. Ordination service is scheduled for Friday evening, June 21, and District Conference is set for Saturday, June 22. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us. (A gentle reminder that this is a required “all-hands on deck” event for our appointed ministers.)
Congratulations are in order to Rev. Chris Williams on his acceptance into the PhD in Organizational Leadership at Columbia International University (South Carolina). In addition to his many other skills and strengths, Chris is a gifted teacher who already serves as an adjunct faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Pastor Mike and Kim Hewitt graciously stepped up to host our Region 2, East Zone, Pastors and Spouses Fellowship at Rising Hope’s community center in Muncie on Friday evening, after Sherry and I were not up to full speed. I was back up and able to join the group that night and we shared a wonderful time together. It is a remarkable blessing to rejoice with those who rejoice and to carry one another’s burdens as we minister together in the harvest. Thank you also to Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mount Zion) for coordinating our time together as zone chair!
Saturday morning, I attended the celebration of life for Mr. Duane Cady, Don Cady’s father. Don serves on staff at Trinity Wesleyan Church (Indianapolis) and Sharon, Don’s wife, is a valued member of our Crossroads District Board of Administration. It was a moving tribute to a Christian gentleman who loved his family and faithfully served the Lord in his community and in the church as a lay leader and Sunday School teacher. Don and Sharon Cady were joined by Randy and Becky Weidman in a quartet to sing one of Duane’s favorite songs: “Wait Till You See My Brand New Home.”
Rev. Art Davis was at the funeral and told me the story of the day that Duane, as a 37-year-old man, gave his life to Christ under the revival ministry of Dr. Flexon while Rev. Davis was pastoring the church on 46th Street. Mr. Cady leaves a wonderful legacy of faith in his family and friends. Our prayers for God’s comfort go out Mrs. Mary Cady (his widow), and their extended family.
On the way back from Indy, I stopped over at Rising Hope Church to catch up with Rev. Ethan Linder. Ethan was there with some of his young adults from College Wesleyan Church who took the time to come over and assist Pastor Mike Hewitt and some of his young adults from Ball State University in the facility remodeling project. I celebrate every time our churches link arms together to impact our region for Christ.
Thank you for all you do in your respective assignments as pastors and lay leaders to advance God’s Kingdom. The call is clear, the need is great, the time is short. and we are “Sent Now!” (John 9:4)
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. There’s still time to register your youth group for the 2019 Crossroads District All-Nighter in Fort Wayne on February 22! Click here: Registration Link