Sunday morning, March 17, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Jarod Osborne and the team at Warsaw Pathway Church and preaching in both of their morning worship services. These are exciting days at Pathway with more than 30 people responding to an altar call last weekend to become missionaries in their community. Pastor Jarod leads a young and gifted staff who are committed to making a difference among the 52,000 people who are still unreached in Warsaw and Kosciusko County.
Sunday evening, I met with the LBA at Gas City Southside Wesleyan Church as they voted unanimously to recommend an extended call for Pastor Brent Miller. Pastor Brent and Naomi are making a difference in turning the church outward to serving Gas City.
Last Monday, after completing the Team Update, I was in Marion to check in with Roxene Lo at her office and then I met with a prospective church planter over lunch. Tuesday morning, I met with our district staff at Abbey Coffee and then connected with Pastor Mark Atkinson in Gas City for our annual coaching conversation. Pastor Andy Cole, Tim Johnson and I met in Anderson for an update on the revitalization project that he’s leading at Lapel Daybreak. Tim is a key leader serving alongside Pastor Andy. It was an encouraging progress report of how the church is rebounding and will be adding an additional worship service leading up to Easter Sunday. Tuesday evening, I met with Pastor Calimerio Rodriguez (Frankfort Templo de Poder) and a prospective church planter in Frankfort. Pray that God will open the right door for a possible Hispanic church planter in Lafayette.
Wednesday morning, I was in Fishers to met with Chris Classen, the new executive pastor at McCordsville Harvest Church. Pastor John Freed (Waterline Church) and I met over lunch for our annual coaching conversation. These are exciting days at Waterline as they’ve successfully launched their first campus in Pendleton. Pastor John Miller and I met in Avon for an update on the progress of planting Way City Church and then I met with a young pastor who is prayerfully considering coming into The Wesleyan Church. My last meeting on Wednesday was with Pastor Neftali Lopez as we signed some property documents for Carmel Amistad Iglesia Wesleyana.
Thursday morning, I joined Rev. Williams, Assistant DS, at Plymouth Wesleyan Church as Chris led the Region 3 spring gathering. Dr. Ollie Dongell and his team are always gracious hosts for this gathering and there was a strong showing of pastors from across the region. Pastor Johnnie Blair brought an inspiring update on the progress they’re making at Tipton Trinity as the church has refocused on the Harvest and is preparing to launch their first campus in Kokomo.
Thursday afternoon, I was back in Marion to meet with Rev. Juden Sia, one of the district superintendents of the Zambia Wesleyan Church. My last meeting of the day was with Rev. Ben Parker and the LBA at Fairmount Back Creek Wesleyan Church. The LBA unanimously affirmed Rev. Parker’s extended call. I also dropped in to see their “Dinner & A Movie” event that they were hosting in their fellowship hall. This has become a positive opportunity for connecting the families in their church and inviting guests.
Friday morning, I connected with Rev. Paul James, lead consultant, and the Maximizing Impact team who were in serving at Albion Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. Pastor Dale Munsell and his team received the team’s report on Sunday morning and Rev. Chris Williams, Assistant DS, will be back in two weeks to host their town hall meeting.
Friday afternoon, I met with Rev. Kory Christensen at New Haven Impact Church for our annual coaching conversation. Impact Church is one of our younger congregations and I was encouraged to hear more about their commitment to discipleship and significant community engagement.
Friday evening, Sherry joined me as we attended the Senior Adult Ministry (SAM) Banquet at Tipton Trinity Wesleyan Church. They had a great turnout for the meal and special presentation by Gary Varvel, awarding winning editorial cartoonist. Congratulations to Randall Hudson and his team for hosting this wonderful event.
Saturday morning, I was able to connect briefly with Pastor John & Danielle Freed in Fishers as they led our Church Planters Boot Camp hosted at Wesleyan Headquarters. John and Danielle do a great job leading prospective planters through this strategic planning process.
Dr. Richard Schenck and the Region 2 DBMD were also meeting on Saturday so I joined them in the afternoon for licensed minister interviews at the Indiana Wesleyan University North Indy campus. We have amazing leaders answering God’s call to ministry and I am grateful for the many DBMD team members who invest significant time and energy in this important development process.
Highlights this week will include the Region 1 meeting on Monday morning at The River Church in Marion led by Pastor Matthew Trexler, Assistant DS. It’s always encouraging to connect with our pastors and hear the stories of how God is moving to change lives.
I’m also looking forward to hosting a connection event for our BiVo (Bi-vocational) pastors on Saturday morning, March 23, at the Branch Coffee Shop in Fairmount (from 10:30 to 1, with lunch provided). Many of our pastors have additional employment responsibilities that preclude their participation in weekday gatherings so this is an opportunity for them to gather for fellowship, encouragement, learning, and support. If you’re planning to join us and still need to RSVP, please email Seth@CrossroadsDistrict.org).
I received notice of the unanimous vote at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne for another 4-year call for Rev. Rick Fletcher to continue as senior pastor and a 98% positive vote for Rev. Andrew Jellison to become Associate Pastor in the LBA-recommended succession plan. Congratulations to both Pastor Rick and Pastor Andy on this strong vote of affirmation of their ministry and future transition.
Congratulations also to Rev. Dr. Jim Dunn, a ministerial member of our Crossroads District team, on his selection by the Board of Trustees to become the next president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Dr. Dunn will be the sixth president of OKWU as he succeeds Dr. Everett Piper this summer. I have every confidence that Dr. Dunn will do a terrific job at OKWU building on the amazing turnaround led by Dr. Piper.
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to the family of Rev. Art O’Dell who passed away on March 15. Rev. O’Dell was Rev. Mark Schnell’s father-in-law. Mark and Sharie, Art’s daughter, serve our Albion Wesleyan Church. Here’s the link for Art’s obituary and the funeral arrangements for the services to be held later this week in Michigan:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. Don’t miss out on ReEquip 2019, April 6 at Brookhaven Church! Register here