Tag : jim-lo

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Pastor of the Week: Jim “Umfundisi” Lo

By: Noelle Beans

Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo

Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo now serves as the interim pastor of Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield, IN. Here at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), Umf, as students lovingly call him, serves as the campus intercessor and a professor of intercultural studies. Dr. Lo received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from IWU. He has served the Lord in many capacities including missionary, professor, author and more.

Dr. Lo has been the interim pastor for the last three months at Parkview. Three weeks ago, he was asked to be the lead pastor for two years. Due to his positions at IWU, he could not commit to being the full-time pastor. The board then hatched a creative plan for Dr. Lo to continue to serve as the lead pastor, but to hire full-time assistant pastors. Reverend Jeremy and Ana Armiger (both Indiana Wesleyan graduates) have just filled that role.

As interim pastor, Dr. Lo has preached Sunday mornings, led Wednesday night bible study for adults and trained the church on how to do evangelism on Sunday nights. He has sought to get the church on board with the Great Commission. He is building off of the foundation previous pastors of Parkview have laid.

Through Dr. Lo’s time at Parkview, he has learned many things: “Being a pastor is more than just preaching, pastoring is a lot of work and very “fulfilling.” Prayer has to be the foundation of ministry; one must never lose focus of “the Great Commission.” What I am teaching students who are preparing for ministry at IWU needs to be both academically sound and practical. Pastoring and teaching at the same time helps me to better understand and empathize with the challenges that pastors face.”

Over a year ago, the former pastor of Parkview, Reverend Paul Trent, passed away from cancer. The church members at Parkview took up the slack while Rev. Trent was sick and have continued to be welcoming and helpful to Dr. Lo. In this way, he has seen the family of God. The first Sunday Dr. Lo preached, 43 attended, and on March 11th, 63 attended. Dr. Lo is aware that numbers do not always tell the full story, but he admits it has been nice to see the church attendance increase. Furthermore, Dr. Lo feels that what he is teaching students at IWU is even more practical since he is now “doing it.”



Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the Alumni Center. Noelle is a freshman Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College.

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IWU Students Participate in Grant County Rescue Mission Walk-A-Mile

By: Noelle Beans

On February 17th, Grant County Rescue Mission (GCRM) held their annual Walk-A-Mile. As the name states, participants walk a mile for this fundraising event. Funds are raised by generous donations from organizations and companies. These groups will often sponsor a team of walkers for $500. This year, Indiana Wesleyan students themselves donated over $300.

Over 70 IWU students walked in the event. IWU professor and president of the GCRM board, Jim Lo, disclosed that they secretly hope for it to be cold on the day of the walk. This may sound like an odd hope, but it is wished because it gives walkers the chance to understand and empathize with the homeless of Grant County who bear this every day. Along with the IWU students who joined the walk, 670 people in total participated in the event. This number is more walkers than past years.

Along with the Walk-A-Mile, IWU students are involved in a variety of missions in Marion and Grant County. Student chaplains go to Mission Mart. Dakota Davisson, an IWU student and resident chaplain of Reed Hall, shared about her experience with GCRM: “My experience volunteering at GCRM was eye opening, because I was able to truly see the needs of our community. One specific need being a warm cooked meal. Often times I take for granted my meal plan at school, but yet there are community members who would do anything for a single meal even if that means walking a mile. Working in the kitchen at GCRM allowed me to truly serve my brothers and sisters in Christ. GCRM does a great job at not only giving the community members a warm meal but they equip men and women to be able to get back on their feet. As I served meals I realized that I wanted to have the attitudes of those who had nothing. Because in the end it’s not the stuff in our lives that will bring us joy but rather those in our lives.” Jim Lo emphasized that he is so impressed by the actual involvement of IWU students and the ownership of the community they are in.



Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the Alumni Center. Noelle is a freshman Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College.

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Paul N. Trent – A Legacy of Servanthood

By: Emily Lehner

Paul N. Trent is fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer, but according to Dr. Jim Lo, Trent’s legacy will live on far longer than his physical battles. Lo and Rev. Robert Van Cise went to minister to Trent in the hospital the past weekend, and Lo said, “We left having been ministered to by Paul. When we entered his bedroom, he had his hands up, praising and thanking God. We spent our time together reminiscing, reflecting and rejoicing. A lot of tears were shed. It was a wonderful to spend time with a special friend and mentor.”

Paul Trent, Jim Lo, and Robert Van Cise

Paul Trent, Jim Lo, and Robert Van Cise

Lo serves as the Campus Pastor-Intercessor and Professor and spoke of his time transitioning into the Wesleyan Church and Trent’s role in this process. He stated, “I came into the Wesleyan Church when most did not know what to do with someone from Chinese heritage. Paul N. Trent was the president for the Wesleyan Youth of the Indiana Central District of the Wesleyan Church (now Crossroads). As president, he invited me to be part of the district Wesleyan Youth executive committee as secretary.” Trent’s welcoming and loving heart gave Lo a place within the district. Lo said, “Paul was willing to give me a chance. He believed in me while others were confused about a Chinese being a part of the district.”

At the time, Trent also served the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Lebanon. Lo said, “For the 14 years he and his church supported my wife, Roxy, and me while we served as missionaries in Southern Africa. Paul and his flock prayed for us and financially gave to our support. When we were home for home ministries, he always welcomed us into his home and had me preach to his congregation about the need to be involved in missions.”

Not only did Trent and his wife cultivate a Christ-filled church environment, but they became active in children’s ministries. Lo stated, “Paul and his wife Patti have always loved children and were phenomenal children’s workers. For years, they were the children’s workers at Frankfort Camp. The kids loved them and their ministry.” Trent used his many gifts to spread The Gospel, including his beautiful singing voice.

For the past fePaul N Trentw years, Trent was the lead pastor at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield, Indiana. Lo said, “This Easter, in a wheelchair due to his battle with cancer, Paul sang praises to God and preached The Word of God to his adoring congregation. There was not a dry eye in the sanctuary.” Trent was an active presence in his congregation’s lives, showing them the necessity of prayer. One of the parishioners wrote, “Pastor Paul, thank you for always being there for my family. When my kids were sick and especially when one of them was in ICU as a baby, you came every day to pray for his healing. When my dad was dying, you stopped by his house and talked to him about Jesus and prayed for his healing. My family and I love you!”

The impact that Pastor Paul N. Trent has on those around him is evident, and we praise God for allowing us to view his example of servanthood. Lo said, “I love this man of God who befriended me and opened up doors of opportunities for me when I was a young ‘Chinese’ pastor.”

Pastor of the Week is honoring leaders who serve the local church and represent Christ-like values. “Paul has served the Wesleyan Church for many years and has been a long-term pastor in Chesterton, IN,” says Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement. “He is well respected,” he added.

Pray for Pastor Paul and his family during this difficult time.


Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a junior Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others.