A recent tradition that honors local pastors continues through the Office of Alumni and Church Engagement. Several times a month local leaders and pastors are selected in recognition of what is known as, “Pastor of the Week”. This tradition began several years ago by Gale Richmond, Director of Church Relations. Rev. Rick Carder, current Director of Alumni and Church Engagement said about the program, “I am on the road this week recognizing pastors and giving them their mug. This week I am giving away a few consecutively!” Carder indicated that he is finishing out the remainder of the year and recognizing several which will finish out 2015. Richmond started this program with real needs being met. Richmond says, “Pastors are so overlooked a lot of times by many people and that was the reason that I wanted to start the ‘Pastor of the Week’ recognition.” The program not only recognizes pastors for their contribution to spiritual discipleship in the local church but also helping to demonstrate the mission of Indiana Wesleyan University as being Christ-centered. Richmond continues, “It is just as a way to say thank you for being there for all of us and for putting up with all of us.” He chuckles, “It is just a small way of showing them just how much they really mean to us.”
The program has since expanded to include pastors beyond The Wesleyan Church. This week’s inductees include Pastors Daniel Meyer & John Klingelhofer from Christ Church of Oak Brook-IL, and Pastor Josh Howard from Wheaton Wesleyan Church-IL. Carder adds, “Pastor’s, I am swinging through your region soon. You may be chosen next.” Carder also reminds members of the local church to nominate their pastor! To do this Carder encourages people to tell us in 100 words or less telling me what makes your pastor extraordinary! (Send your nomination to Rick.Carder@indwes.edu)
One of those that we highlight includes Pastor Josh Howard. Josh has been in the Wesleyan Church his whole life; beginning with being born into a pastor’s home. Josh has attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he graduated with a degree in Christian Ministries. He is currently working on his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Carder says that “Not everyone selected is a pastor in the Wesleyan Church nor are they an alum of Indiana Wesleyan University.”
Pastor Josh has been in the ministry of the Wesleyan Church since graduation from college. One of his earliest church is included a staff position with Kalamazoo Wesleyan Church, known today as Lighthouse Community Church. Under the leadership of Rev. Danny Janes, Josh’s ministry was fruitful and a great place to develop his ministry skills. Having also served in St. Louis, Pastor Josh defends his interest as a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan.
Pastor Josh now serves as the senior pastor for Wheaton Wesleyan Church in Wheaton, Illinois. Josh has served in this church for nine consecutive years. His ministry extends even be on the four walls of this local community church. Pastor Josh also serves the community with intentional ministry to the neighborhood. Just this year the church’s Boys Brigade gathered over 750 individual bags of groceries from the surrounding homes to better serve people coming to their food pantry. Furthermore, Pastor Josh serves in a District Denominational leadership role as Assistant Superintendent as well as chair of the ministry training program called District Board of Ministerial Development. Pastor Josh is best known for not only his preaching but his exceptional skills as “Ping-Pong king” during their annual local church Ping-Pong tournament. Pastor Josh believes that the local church is where real ministry occurs. The local church is a congregation that is intentional about reaching their neighbors and building a strong relationship. The “pastor of the week” is a weekly recognition of pastors serving in the local church making a profound impact in not only their church but their community reflecting the mission of Indiana Wesleyan University by being Christ centered.
The “pastor of the week” was begun by Mr. Gale Richmond who served as the director of church relations for several years at Indiana Wesleyan. As part of this recognition a small gift is given to the pastor as well as a coffee mug with the title “Pastor of the Week.”
Others that have recently been recognized in this way include the executive pastor of Crossroads Community Church, Rev. Kevin Smith, from Kokomo, Indiana. Pastor Kevin is been serving at this church for over 20 years. His role included the very beginning days when the church first launched. Carder recently sat down with Pastor Kevin to ask him what the ministry has meant for him over these years. Smith stated, “It is been a tremendous opportunity to share Christ with so many people through the decades.” Smith now serves as executive pastor and uses his experience to help guide the church and mentor others who are leading. Pastor Kevin is a parent of a student currently at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Additionally, Rev. Dan Meyer and Rev. John Klingelhofer (not pictured) from Christ Church of Oak Brook in Oakbrook Illinois were recently selected. Dan Meyer is the senior pastor and John Klingelhofer is the missions’ pastor at the church. Each of these men, in their own right are well deserving of this distinguished recognition. Both are individuals that have demonstrated a concern for the lease and the loss of our world today. Each of these men has integrity and leading examples of pastoral service and commitment for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Other pastors that have been inducted include;
Mark Atkinson – Eastview Wesleyan Church, Gas City, IN
Jonathon Welch – First Wesleyan Church, Chillicothe, OH
Chuck Osborne – Youth Pastor, Dayspring Wesleyan Church, Columbus, OH
Steve Coulter – Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church, Marion, IN
Ken DePeal – Olathe Wesleyan Church, Olathe, KS
Nicholas Hect – Sturgis Wesleyan Church, Sturgis, MI
Joe Gormong – Student Ministries Pastor, Faith Wesleyan Church, Terre Haute, IN
Wes Jones – Columbus Wesleyan Church, Columbus, IN
Tim McClellan – Lakeview Wesleyan Church, Marion, IN
Written by Rev. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement of Indiana Wesleyan University.
Rick has been with IWU since 2006 and has recently added to his role of Director of Alumni Relations the responsibility to connect with pastors through Church Engagement. Rick is ordained with The Wesleyan Church since 1989.