A new chapter in The Wesleyan Church began this summer, with the formation of the Crossroads District. The district was officially launched the last weekend in June at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Ind.
Delegates from both the Indiana North and Indiana Central districts gathered together for final district conferences before the official launch of the Crossroads District.
Indiana Central and Indiana North district conferences met February 20 with former General Superintendent Dr. Jo Anne Lyon in special session to consider merger and take final district votes after several years of study. The new name reflects Indiana’s state motto, “Crossroads of America,” which was adopted in 1937. Travelers across the state often see the red, white, and blue signs that declare, “Welcome to Indiana – Crossroads of America.” Crossroads District will be essentially the northern half of the state of Indiana. Dr. Mark Gorveatte was elected to lead the 115 churches as district superintendent, while Rev. Carol Schenck was elected to serve as district secretary.
Dr. Laurel Buckingham, former senior pastor of Moncton Wesleyan Church in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, served as keynote speaker at the June conference, challenging delegates to keep evangelism at the forefront of ministry, both at on the local church and district levels. He also spoke to delegates about the importance of church leaders finding freedom in Christ so they can lead without the toxicity of insecurity. Other speakers included Rev. Barry and Joyce Dixon, Calvary Family Church, Indianapolis; Dr. Steve DeNeff, senior pastor at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Ind.; Dr. Williams, associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Crossroads District welcomed Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, to lead the ordination service for 18 new Wesleyan ministers. Dr. Schmidt prepared a focused prayer and special gift for each of those being ordained. Then the Council of Ordination, joined by nearly 100 ordained ministers, gathered around all the candidates kneeling at the front and lifted their voices together in a chorus of prayer.
Dr. Schmidt presented the State of the Church address concluding with a call to focused prayer and a renewed commitment to making disciples. The business continued with the adoption of standing rules and the elections for members of the district board of administration and the district nominating committee.
The DBA also appointed three assistant district superintendents (two part-time and one full-time), who will each have responsibility for leading teams serving the three regions of the district: Rev. Mike Colaw (Indianapolis Trinity), Rev. Jason Tash (Columbia City New Hope), and Rev. Chris Williams, full-time assistant district superintendent.
Dr. Gorveatte, reflecting on the historic conference, said, “The formation of the new Crossroads District is to build a stronger foundation for greater kingdom impact in the state of Indiana. We left the assembly and spread out across the Crossroads District to our respective appointments with a sense of anticipation for the year ahead. The challenge before us is great but God has called us and he will equip us for this good work!”