Rev. Dr. Anita Eastlack, former executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship (CMAD), and Rev. Russ Gunsalus, former executive director of Education and Clergy Development (ECD), are transitioning into new roles following 14th General Conference. Each executive director has faithfully led and served TWC by equipping her leaders and churches in planting, discipleship, education and caring for clergy.
Dr. Anita Eastlack’s transition will propel her toward local church ministry once again, as she takes on the role of senior pastor at CrossPoint Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and director of Multiplication and Discipleship for the Northeast District. In both roles, she will continue to utilize the skills and gifts God has given her during her time in local and denominational church ministry, while cheering on Dr. Ed Love as he takes up the role of executive director of CMAD.
“It has been a privilege of a lifetime to lead my CMAD team for six years and watch God at work even through a pandemic,” reflected Dr. Eastlack. “We have had celebrations every single day as we would meet for a morning prayer huddle to celebrate every time a disciple makes a disciple, and a church multiplies itself until The Wesleyan Church has a transforming presence in every Zip code.”
Dr. Eastlack’s transition to CrossPoint will allow her to plant her focus on formation within the local church, especially the diverse and densely populated neighborhood around CrossPoint, and the larger Lehigh Valley area. Founded by Dr. Earle Wilson, CrossPoint has a long history of ministry to the community, and Dr. Eastlack will serve the region with a diverse team of leaders including Rev. Andrea Arrington, who traces her own spiritual roots back to her childhood salvation at CrossPoint when her father, Rev. Kevin Fetterhoff, was pastor.
“I look forward to watching God continue to transform lives and glorify himself in the mission fields of Bethlehem and the Northeast,” said Dr. Eastlack.
Rev. Russ Gunsalus will continue serving the denomination in the role of special assistant to the General Superintendent, a post which will include continued participation in some of Rev. Gunsalus’ previous projects — such as the presidential search at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) and participation in the Wesleyan Education Council (WEC).
But among the most exciting projects Rev. Gunsalus will continue to spearhead is the exploration of a Private System Affiliation (PSA), a shared-services concept allowing all Wesleyan institutions of higher education to share resources, administrative structures and data in a more central structure while also preserving each institution’s unique identity and voice.
“I’m excited about the transformative possibility of PSA and shared services within Wesleyan higher education, and the possibilities of that helping the larger world of Christian higher education, especially given the challenging moment all Christian higher education is facing,” said Rev. Gunsalus.
Rev. Johanna Rugh, the newly elected executive director of Education and Clergy Development, will work closely with Rev. Gunsalus during her transition, and especially on final planning and execution for “The Gathering” conference for Wesleyan clergy (January 4-7, 2023).
“Working together with Dr. Schmidt and Johanna to advance these important initiatives, and smoothly transition this work to Johanna’s leadership feels like a chance to take the next steps on some important work we’ve done over the past several years,” reflected Rev. Gunsalus.
Rev. Ethan Linder is the pastor of discipleship at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, and contributing editor at The Wesleyan Church’s division of Education and Clergy Development.