Tag : pastor-of-the-week

Alex Falder and Relational Evangelism (Pastor of the Week)

By: Emily Lehner

Alex Falder and his family Photo obtained from Facebook

Alex Falder and his family
Photo obtained from Facebook

Alex Falder graduated from Lakeview Christian High School, and although it was a tough decision between Indiana Wesleyan and Taylor University, Falder chose Taylor University. His call to ministry goes back farther than college. Falder’s youth pastor was Charlie Alcock.

Falder said, “My call to ministry was really felt during my senior year of high school- particularly to youth ministry. So, I studied Recreation and Leadership, with a minor in Youth Ministry.” This major focused on using the outdoors to shape one’s faith. Falder planned to pursue camp ministry after college.

During college, Falder worked for Springhill Camps doing wilderness trips. After college, his brother, who worked for Youth for Christ, hired him to begin a Campus Life in Ithaca, Michigan. In this position, Falder encouraged children in the area to join churches.

Following this job, Falder moved to Pittsburgh to work as a youth pastor. “I really grew in a love for the church and ministry in the church. After four years, I came back to get my master’s at Huntington University. This was a time when it became very clear that my talents were meant to be used inside the church.”

After completing his master’s, Falder began his internship at Wabash Friends Church, his home church. Within six months, Falder discovered that the senior pastor at the church was transitioning out. The church leadership believed that he was the one to be the replacement. Falder stated, “I don’t think I was ever planning to be a senior pastor. It just kind of happened.”

As senior pastor, Falder focuses on four main categories of the church. He believes being proactive in every person’s faith walk is of high importance. He said, “A healthy church has 25% quadrants. 25% of your people are exploring Christ, maybe that haven’t even come to know him yet. 25% of the people are coming to know Christ. They’re figuring out who He is. Then, you have 25% who are close to Christ, but they are still figuring out things in life. And then lastly, you have 25% who are all in. They’re serving and devoted to Christ. As a pastor, I am constantly thinking about how I can assist these four groups in moving forward.” Falder said he is always attempting to envision which programs and events and messages will help each group.

As far as reaching out, Falder believes a relationship is the most important and primary step in discipleship. He said, “I really have wrestled with the idea that church is the place where evangelism takes place. Really, it should be just not the staff’s job, but the church’s job to be meeting people where they are at, helping them walk down that road.” Falder spends his days thinking of ways to reach out to the Wabash community and also helping to encourage growth within the congregation members. “We are trying to make the person’s first exposure to Christ relational and not walking through the doors of the church,” he said.

Wabash Friends Church partners with community organizations to pursue this type of relationship with others. Falder said, “The way we look at missions is that we don’t just want to fund it, but we want to have people involved. So, we have people who are going and participating.”

The church focuses heavily on youth. For example, Wabash Friends has a partnership with Kids Hope. Members of the church visit local schools and mentor the elementary students. They currently have approximately 25 mentors. Falder said, “We also have a partnership with Youth for Christ. This is something that has grown in Wabash. Now, all four schools have a Youth for Christ program.” The church also partners with FCA and The Access. “We see these as opportunities to be a part of kids’ lives. We want to walk along them from an early age,” he said.

Falder said that his time spent in college allowed him to see his need for relationship. “I need to have people around me that will sharpen me,” he stated. He puts these insights into practice at Wabash Friends Church and in the surrounding Wabash community, building relationships with all he comes into contact with. 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Pastor of the Week: Richard Cole

By: Heather Cox

Richard Lee Cole graduated from Marion College (now Indiana Wesleyan University) in 1985 with a B.S. in Christian Ministries and an Associates degree in Christian Education. Today, Cole has been the lead Pastor and founder of Daybreak Community Church located in Lapel, Indiana for 20 years.

Before he was a Pastor, Cole was a student. Cole said that during his time at Marion College, he had professors and mentors who not only encouraged him in his pursuit to become a pastor, but they brought excitement into his life for what was to come. Bud Bence, Joe Seaborne, Wilbur Williams, and Duane Caldwell were some of Cole’s favorite professors and mentors at Marion College.

As far as how Cole became a pastor, his story is a bit more unique. Though he felt called to be a pastor starting when he was 18, Cole got married right out of high school, began working for General Motors and pushed his calling to be a pastor aside for a while.

Eventually, Cole came back to this calling and decided to do a course at home in order to obtain a license to become a pastor. Cole explained that this home course did not go well, as there were many distractions at home.

After working for General Motors for around 10 years, Cole was laid off, which was actually the beginning of something new. General Motors offered to pay for his education.

“They said that they would help with some of the financing on getting a degree in something, and I asked them about being a preacher. After negotiations, they said absolutely they would. I realized that I had everything going my direction, and I realized that this was a God thing. I’d been married ten years, had three boys and a home,” Cole explained. “I said ‘Wow Lord, you have opened up the doors… this is a no brainer.’ I just walked through that door that God had opened for me, and Indiana Wesleyan was the school I chose to go to.”

After becoming a pastor for a few years, General Motors called him back to work, so Cole began working full time at both the factory and as a pastor. Cole did this for 20 years, until he was able to solely focus on being a pastor.

“I have never thought of myself as anything but a pastor. I’ve never thought ‘Oh, maybe I’ll go to a different direction.’ Now, I’ve been a senior pastor for 32 years, and I’ve never wanted or looked at doing anything else,” Cole said.

Though Cole is continuously pursuing God’s calling in his life as a pastor, the job does not come without difficulties. Even returning to school brought Cole some difficulties that he had to overcome.

“I was never a good student in school, and it was very important for me to even pass my first test in college. I was dreading more than anything that I would not be able to read the material or write or get anything out of it, but the school really helped me with some reading classes, and I felt very successful,” Cole explained.

Cole said that one of the hardest parts of being a pastor was having to move his family around a few times when his children were young.

“The hardest part for the family is leaving the home that they had grown up in and moving off to a new school system,” Cole said. “There was a lot of soul searching not only with going to college, but also moving up to Marion. Moving to Colorado Springs for my first pastorate was a real tough thing for all of us to be on the same page, but it worked out beautifully.”

Cole’s grandson is currently in the process of pursuing an education at Indiana Wesleyan University to become a pastor, and Cole has a granddaughter doing the same in Oklahoma. In addition, all three of Cole’s sons have become ordained in the Wesleyan church.

One thing Cole has learned over the years and wants to pass on to current Indiana Wesleyan students is to not become intimidated or discouraged by people you work with or for. He said, “Every time I ran into a difficult time I had to remember: I’m not doing it for them. I’m doing this for my Jesus.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

Pastor of the Week: Matthew Schwarzentraub

By: Dezaray Barr

 

Matthew Schwarzentraub

Matthew Schwarzentraub

Matthew Schwarzentraub, the Connections Pastor at Croswell Wesleyan Church in Croswell Michigan, graduated from IWU in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in Christian Ministries and Biblical Literature. He graduated just this last year from Wesley Seminary with his masters of divinity from IWU as well.

Schwarzentraub has been a pastor of Croswell Wesleyan five years this June. He began as an intern in the children’s ministry. In the fall of 2013 he resigned, but just a few weeks later he was called back by the senior pastor to be the connections pastor.

“My job is to serve as the connections pastor, focusing on hospitality, connections and life groups,” Schwarzentraub said.

While a student at IWU, Schwarzentraub was involved in the young adult ministry at College Wesleyan Church and was a senator in IWU’s Student Government Association. Both involvements and his friends at IWU affected him in large ways.

Schwarzentraub said, “I believe that, even though I did not see it at the time, those two activities shaped the way I minister to this day. Another equally influential factor is the close-knit friendships that I made at IWU. I learned more about God and more about how he created me through my friends. We encouraged each other to lean into who we were made to be.”

Schwarzentraub favorite professor during his time at IWU was Dr. David Vardaman who taught Church Leadership and Wesleyan Church History. “What I love about him is that he is real, and he cares deeply about his students. I could sense that he wanted to teach knowledge, but he also wanted to teach character,” Schwarzentraub said. “I always knew that he cared about me personally.”

Matthew Schwarzentraub during his time in children's ministry

Matthew Schwarzentraub during his time in children’s ministry

One of Schwarzentraub’s favorite people at IWU was Dr. Keith Newman. “I’m not exactly sure how I got connected with him in the first place. It was probably through SGA,” Schwarzentraub said, “but I remember sitting down with him and discussing options for seminary. I had my mind on an established, more prominent program. He told me a story about a surgeon and a family doctor. The surgeon sees people, operates on them and doesn’t see them again. The family doctor sees patients, knows them and checks on them frequently throughout their lifetime. Dr. Newman then asked me to think about being a professor or a pastor. The more prominent seminary will train you to be a professor and you will know students for a semester and then send them off. This other newer seminary will help you continue to develop the heart of a pastor and you will know people for a lifetime. Which one do you want?”

Schwarzentraub knew his calling to be a pastor was real as a child. “One of the most distinct experiences came from my senior pastor when I was younger,” Schwarzentraub said. “It was at North Lakeport Wesleyan. I was involved in the Wednesday night CYC (youth) program, and we had to interview the pastor. As I finished my interview with Rev. Steve DeNeff, he asked if he could ask me a question. ‘Matt, what do you want to do with your life?’ I replied, ‘I want to be a pastor.’ He smiled, and later he was talking to my parents and recalled the conversation. After telling them what I said Pastor Steve said, ‘If he would have said anything else, I would not have believed him.’”

If Schwarzentraub could give current IWU students one piece of advice, it would be, “Put people first. It is easy to get distracted and be focused on results,” Schwarzentraub said, “but people need hope and the best way to show them hope is by listening, encouraging and caring.”

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

Pastor of the Week: Brian Bradford

By: Heather Cox

Brian Bradford and his family

Brian Bradford and his family

Rev. Brian V. Bradford graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in April 2000, after studying Political Science/Pre-Law and Religion and Philosophy.

Six months ago, Bradford began serving as Lead Pastor at Wheaton Wesleyan Church, and said it is because of Indiana Wesleyan that he is in full-time vocational ministry in the first place.

Bradford said it was while he was a student at IWU that he grew to become a man of confidence, and experienced many positive “firsts.” These “firsts” include raising his hands and singing aloud in worship, being mentored by an upperclassman, creating his own group for mentoring underclassmen, academically working harder than ever, and traveling to unfamiliar places.

There were many professors and other individuals Bradford developed a relationship with during his time as a student, and each of them has greatly impacted who he is today. These individuals include David Bartley, Glenn Martin, Keith Drury, Bud Bence, Scott Turcott, B.J. Fratzke, Rob Thompson, and Robert Otis.

“I will never forget Dr. Turcott taking prayer requests in class. I will never forget Dr. Martin teaching me more about how to think biblically and critically than simply sharing historical facts and world events. I will never forget Chaplain Gary Swyers believing in me enough to ask me to speak in chapel,” Bradford said. “However, one person who stands out above so many was Gale Richmond. Gale wasn’t a professor. He was an administrative staff member. However, he would frequently take me and a few other hungry college guys out to lunch and speak truth into our lives.”

Bradford also referenced Dr. Barnes (the president at the time), Keith Roorbach in transportation services, and Bonita Wuertley in the religion office. Bradford said each person modeled Jesus to him and with him.

Though Bradford is leading a church today, it was not where he had always pictured he would be. Even though Bradford led Bible studies in Bowman house at IWU, served in churches during his sophomore and junior years, and had preached several times before he graduated, he still struggled with his call to ministry.

Originally, Bradford felt called to be a lawyer. However, while studying for the Law School Admission Test during the second semester of his senior year, he began to realize if he were to be truly obedient to God, he needed to apply to seminary.

Even still, the process and the journey has not always been easy– there have been obstacles to overcome, as well. Bradford said his biggest difficulty has been to overcome his lack of faith and fear of failure. He said throughout high school, college, and even in seminary, he often succeeded but had to learn that his success was no what it was all about.

“God longs for us to have faith in Him, not in our own abilities, talents, and gifts. Early on, I errantly believed ministry was about my work ethic and the people I knew,” Bradford said. “Over the years, God has stripped away my pride and rebuilt faith in its place. Instead of fear, now I pray and step back and watch God work. He always shows up, time and time again. Whether raising money for missions trips or reaching out to our local community, God always provides, and builds our faith in the process.”

Brian Bradford

Brian Bradford

Today, Bradford said the congregation of Wheaton Wesleyan Church has a wide range of ages. The church got its start 60 years ago and is just west of Chicago, 8 blocks away from Wheaton College. Even still, the congregation did not have college aged students when Bradford first arrived 6 months ago, though that has started to change. Today, they have 10-20 college students regularly attending.

“On the other end of the age spectrum, we have Ms. Merle. She is 109 years old and can likely out run you with her walker! Merle is definitely the oldest living Wesleyan on the planet!” Bradford joked. “The challenge of being a pastor is figuring out how to relationally and pastorally connect with Merle, who has attended WWC for 50 years, and yet love on college students, who are simply trying to pass their statistics exam next week.”

Bradford said this generational gap is why he loves the local church, and Wheaton specifically.

“The body of Christ brings together people from all walks of life to accomplish one purpose, the glorification and edification of our Lord,” Bradford said. “Because we have been blessed with these students, as well as a large contingent of seniors, God has given us a task. Pass on wisdom, faith, and leadership to the next generation. Mentor them. Encourage them to become all God longs for them to be. And in the process, us older folks may just grow and learn as well.”

As for advice for current IWU students, Bradford said not to wait until after graduation to begin ministry; instead, start now.

“Become a Big Brother or Big Sister at the YMCA in Marion. I did, and I am better for it. Serve in a local church’s children’s ministry or on their worship team. Seek out a mentor and meet with them regularly. Start a midnight bible study in your dorm. Do whatever God challenges you to do,” Bradford said. “You’ll never be in college again. You’ll never have this opportunity again to surround yourself with Godly professors, administrators, friends, and coaches. Take advantage of this time.”

“My collegiate days at IWU taught me so much, but above all, they taught me to be faithful to the task to which we’ve been called,” Bradford said. “Thank you for highlighting my story, and my ministry. I am truly honored and humbled.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

Pastor of the Week: Neftali B. Lopez

By: Dezaray Barr

Naftali Lopez

Naftali Lopez

Neftali B. Lopez is the Pastor of Iglesia Wesleyana Amistad Cristiana in Carmel, Indiana. Lopez is a graduate of National Bible College with a degree in theology in 1996. He went on to receive his M. Div. of Chaplaincy and Ed. S. in Leadership from Liberty University in 2011.

Rick Carder, IWU’s Director of Alumni and Church Engagement said, “When I first heard of Pastor Lopez, I was excited about the opportunity to meet him and to hear about his ministry. His efforts to reach out to people that are in need & connect with a ministry of care is exciting. Ministries that reaches out to first generation immigrants is challenging. Pastor Lopez demonstrates the compassionate kindness that is needed to meet the needs of these families.”

Lopez felt called to serve in 1986, but was unable to discern specifically where or in what role he was called to serve God. Lopez said, “Since my dad was a pastor, I dreaded the headaches I saw he had with that responsibility.”

naftali-lopez3

Naftali Lopez and his wife

However, Lopez followed God’s calling for his life. “I interviewed with a church and out of three pastors I was selected,” Lopez said. “While I was going through the process there was a peace both my wife and I were feeling, knowing that if it is God behind all this, He will bring us through. That is when I knew all these years serving at different churches had been preparing me for this time. I let the river of God’s direction flow through its course and let Him, the Shepherd of His church, be in charge of this process as we became obedient to follow where he leads us.”

Lopez’s current church, Iglesia Wesleyana Amistad Cristiana in Carmel, Indiana, began in 2000. It was sponsored by Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis. Every service is offered in Spanish and also provides instantaneous translation to English for those who do not understand Spanish.

Lopez said, “For many who are far from their native home, our church is their piece of home. If you come to our church, there are a lot of friendly smiles, hugs and the warmth and humble welcome that characterized a redeemed person. The name: Amistad Cristiana is what we really are: Friendly Christians worshipping God and welcoming others to join.”

Lopez also currently serves as the IWU chaplain in the Adult Non-resident program at the West Indianapolis and Greenwood, IN campuses. Lopez encourages current IWU students to remember, “You can rise up, you and God are majority. Get up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

 

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

 

Spanish Translation:

Neftali B. Lopez es el Pastor de Iglesia Wesleyana Amistad Cristiana en Carmel, Indiana. López es un graduado del Colegio Nacional de Biblia con un grado en teología en 1996. Él continuó recibiendo su M. Div. De Capellanía y Ed. S. en Liderazgo de la Universidad de la Libertad en 2011.

Rick Carder, director de Alumni y Church Engagement de IWU, dijo: “Cuando escuché por primera vez al pastor López, estaba entusiasmado con la oportunidad de conocerlo y escuchar sobre su ministerio.Sus esfuerzos para llegar a las personas que están en necesidad y conectarse Con un ministerio de cuidado es emocionante.Los ministerios que llega a los inmigrantes de primera generación es un desafío.El pastor López demuestra la bondad compasiva que se necesita para satisfacer las necesidades de estas familias “.

López se sintió llamado a servir en 1986, pero fue incapaz de discernir específicamente dónde o en qué papel debía servir a Dios. Lopez dijo: “Como mi papá era pastor, temía los dolores de cabeza que veía que tenía con esa responsabilidad”.

Sin embargo, López siguió el llamado de Dios para su vida. “Entreviste a una iglesia y de tres pastores fui seleccionado”, dijo López. “Mientras yo estaba pasando por el proceso había una paz que tanto mi esposa como yo estábamos sintiendo, sabiendo que si Dios está detrás de todo esto, Él nos llevará a través.” Fue entonces cuando supe que todos estos años sirviendo en diferentes iglesias había sido Preparándome para este tiempo, dejé que el río de la dirección de Dios fluyera por su curso y que El, el Pastor de Su iglesia, estuviera a cargo de este proceso a medida que nos volvíamos obedientes a seguir donde él nos conduce “.

La iglesia actual de López, Iglesia Wesleyana Amistad Cristiana en Carmel, Indiana, comenzó en 2000. Fue patrocinada por la Iglesia Trinity Wesleyan en Indianápolis. Cada servicio se ofrece en español, y proporcionan traducción instantánea al inglés para aquellos que no entienden español.

López dijo: “Para muchos que están lejos de su hogar natal, nuestra iglesia es su pedazo de hogar.Si vienes a nuestra iglesia, hay un montón de sonrisas amistosas, abrazos y la calidez y humilde bienvenida que caracterizó a una persona redimida. El nombre: Cristiana Amistad es lo que realmente somos: Amistosos Cristianos adorando a Dios y dando la bienvenida a otros a unirse “.

López también sirve actualmente como el capellán de IWU en el programa no residente adulto en las escuelas de West Indianapolis y Greenwood, IN. López anima a los estudiantes actuales de IWU a recordar: “Ustedes pueden levantarse, ustedes y Dios son mayoría. ¡Levántense, recojan su alfombra y caminen!”

“Insuring that the Message of Grace is Delivered”: Elder Rev. Charles T. Moorer, Jr. – Pastor of the Week

By: Rick Carder

Rev. Moorer and his wife.

Rev. Moorer and his wife.

Many say that inspiring stories are the only thing that carries them through their day. Adversity is a daily challenge for people, and Rev. Charles Moorer, Jr. is providing inspiring stories and messages through his ministry. Moorer is the Lead Pastor at Divine Direction Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to the church website, his ministry and church “…stands firm on the Word of God and its principles for everyday living, worship, and communion with God. Over the 13-plus years, I (Moorer) and my family have had the honor and privilege to serve the members of Divine Direction Christian Church and the Near Eastside community.”

Rev Moorer has seen his share of opportunities while ministering in this congregation. He remembers what his mother said years prior, and its helps when he feels opposition. She said, “You were created to serve Him.” At first, resisting the call to ministry, and through the intervention of spiritual leaders who spoke prophecy over him, and even through much prayer and fasting, Moorer came to realize that this local ministry is where he belongs. “We are now marching together” he says about serving their community.

The ministry touches the lives of people who have physical as well as spiritual needs. The ministry recently provided food for families in need. “The line of people stretched out the church doors and around the parking lot,” said Moorer in a recent conversation. Their ministry is trying to make a difference where it matters most. The local church ministry provides transportation and meals in a ministry called “Feed My Sheep Ministry”, as well as a Thanksgiving Dinner for the community. This year’s outreach was able to provide food for over 200 families. “What we need are people who will join us by volunteering in serving alongside us. We need people from The Wesleyan Church, as well as other ministries, to join us in our eastside neighborhood church.”

It is through the generosity of a nearby neighbor that Moorer’s church has been able to have community ministries in an open field. Pastor Moorer recalls bringing a ministry in from Missouri to provide many opportunities to serve the local people. Moorer also inspires lives through his weekly teaching and preaching. His ministry extends to his fellowship of believers as well as providing evangelism opportunities. His inspiring messages can be found at SermonPC.

Moorer has exceptional talents that he uses to not only meet with needs of people in his congregation but also having served as an educator with IWU since 2009. Through his business, Solace Risk Management, Moorer is able to provide property and casualty services as well as claims advocacy and management consulting. His bi-vocational role is an example of someone who loves to serve and intentionally finds resources to meet the needs of people. Much of his personal wealth goes into the ministry he serves to help people. He is insuring that the message of grace is delivered to people whose needs exceed their resources. He says that being in the marketplace is a great opportunity for sharing with others about the grace of God, in Christ.

bookIn a recent release of his book, “Giving up Is Not an Option”, Moorer shares “an inspiring true story of heartbreak, hard times, and triumph over life’s adversities.” (book cover)

How many times have you gone through so much pain, uncertainty, and confusion that you were sure the punishment was something that you deserved? You know that the world isn’t always fair, but perhaps you’ve had what seems to be more than your share of bad luck? Where is the “light” at the end of the tunnel? Difficult situations are a part of everyone’s life. We have all been there at one point or another. Stuck in a situation that we cannot even begin to comprehend. Wondering why things go wrong, even when we’ve convinced ourselves we’ve made all the “right” choices. If this sounds like you, know that you’re not the first to wonder. Nor are you the first to experience what can sometimes be a severe blow to your faith. In times such as these, it’s easy to question, easy to stop believing even. But where there is darkness, there must also be light. – From Amazon.

Moorer shares an honest account from his personal life and the lives of his family encouraging and inspiring his readers to not give up but to realize the hope we have in God. According to Rick Carder, “It is a must-read! I have purchased the book and read it. I found that by him sharing his vulnerabilities from his own family, it reveals how faithful God is when we face adversity. I found that I could not put the book down and read it in one sitting, because it was a powerful example of a modern-day story of Job.”

Moorer writes, “I wanted to throw in the towel but God would throw it right back to me,” testifying of how God walked with him.

Moorer shared his favorite biblical passages. Putting these verses in his own words he said the following verses provides rich insights:

Psalm 46 tells us that He is our ever present help in times of trouble!

Heb 13:5 says that He will never leave you or forsake you.

Romans 8:31 says, who shall separate us…not adversity.

Moorer’s church website references Romans 10:14-15;

website

Rev. Moorer and his family

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!

The Moorer’s have two children that have been a part of the IWU community. His daughter is a recent graduate who works for her father’s business and his son is currently attending IWU. Both of his children were involved in the Music Department. He is married to Crystal.

His family is very musical. Moorer is just about to release a music album that will be available on iTunes in the coming days. It was produced with his family as well as IWU’s Professor and Director of the IWU Jazz Band, Todd Williams. His music has been played on over 200 radio stations across the country, and he has several interviews that are upcoming with opportunities to share his story and his music. You can find his music on iTunes by searching for Charles Moorer and the Faithful Few.

Divine Direction is on the web at www.divinedirectioncc.org.

Pastor of the Week: Richard L. Deisler

By: Heather Cox

Richard Deisler and his wife.

Richard Deisler and his wife.

Richard L. Deisler graduated from Marion College (Indiana Wesleyan University) in 1981 with a B.S. in Christian Ministries/ Biblical Literature, and also went on to receive his M.A. in 1994.

Currently, Deisler serves as the senior pastor at Whiteford Wesleyan Church located in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.

When Deisler first arrived at IWU as a student, he had not planned on majoring in Christian Ministries and Biblical Literature. Instead, Deisler had been planning on going to school to become a math teacher. As for what first changed his mind on this plan, Deisler said it was one week in college calculus, realizing the class was not his cup of tea. After one year of being at IWU, Deisler’s heart began to change as he felt God begin to lead him toward the pastorate.

Dr. Wayne Caldwell was one IWU professor who heavily influenced Deisler’s life.

“Wayne Caldwell was one whom I highly respected and could not take enough of his classes,” Deisler said. “Dr. Caldwell was not only a great professor and mentor, but was an encourager and ‘cheerleader’ on my behalf.”

Another professor Deisler enjoyed was Dr. Norman Wilson, who actually used one of Deisler’s sermon titles for one of his messages, which is what Deisler said is his personal claim to fame.

In the midst of pastoring, Deisler finds confirmation that he is doing what God has called him to do.

“Whenever we are part of changed lives, restored marriages, the privilege of baptizing, to watch disciples move to a deeper commitment, it is confirmed that this is what God has called me to do,” Deisler said.

Even still, Deisler said every church has its own unique obstacles, including his own church, Whiteford Wesleyan Church.

“We are a rural church so we have to be much more intentional about our “community,” Deisler said. “I think every church has to always be focusing on the ‘whys’ of our existence and that we do not exist for ourselves but for others. That means change and change is always difficult.”

Whiteford Wesleyan Church itself is 170 years old, established in 1846 as one of the first Wesleyan churches in Michigan. Deisler said that today the congregation is a mixture of young and older members.

“We are conservative with an upbeat approach,” Deisler said.

The church has also “adopted” the local school as their community, and have partnered with them to house ministries such as a Preschool and Latch-Key programs.

“We are blessed with a great location out in the country sitting on a main road, just a mile off a busy interstate connecting Michigan and Ohio,” Deisler said.

Deisler is currently in his 28th year of serving Whiteford Wesleyan Church, and finds joy in witnessing new infants being dedicated to the church, baptizing them as a believer, presiding at their weddings, and then dedicating their children to the church as well.

“We are unique for our longevity as a church,” Deisler said. “We are unique for having pastors who stay a long time.”

As for advice for current IWU students, Deisler said to get as much practice as possible.

“There is no training like ‘on the job,’” Deisler said. “Volunteer at your church for the summer. Invest yourselves in various ministries—children, youth, adults. Take on a project for the church and see it through to completion. Above all, learn to love your people and serve them.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

Pastor of the Week: Michael Cloud

By: Heather Cox

Michael Cloud and his wife, photo obtained from Facebook

Michael Cloud and his wife, photo obtained from Facebook

Michael Cloud attended Indiana Wesleyan University as a part time student over the course of several years, completing his M.A. in Religion.

Currently, Cloud is the lead pastor of The Cross Wesleyan Church, located in Rochester, Indiana.

While studying at IWU, Cloud said he really enjoyed Keith Drury’s class on discipling men. What Cloud learned in that class has stuck with him and has helped shape his life and heart as a pastor, a man and a husband.

“The class helped me understand myself as a man and how to relate to men so as to draw them closer to Jesus,” Cloud said. “Men struggle with understanding relationships and understanding women. We think and approach relationships much differently than women.  As I have discipled and counseled men, I have tried to help them grasp these differences so that they might relate to their wives and daughters in a godly way.”

Cloud has even applied this to how he raised his own sons by taking them out on a weekly basis for some alone time with their father.

Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement for IWU, said Cloud’s best qualities include his energy and his commitment toward serving the community regardless of the sacrifice or challenge he has to make.

When God reassured Cloud he was called to be a pastor it was through a friendship with a young man who had struggled with drugs, alcohol, and abandonment from his father.

Cloud said he spent time with this young man and never questioned why he smoked or drank, but instead lived life alongside him, and poured love into his life. Eventually, this young man opened up to Cloud, telling him there was a time he was considering suicide when a girl literally walked into his life and prevented it from happening.

“He told me, ‘I knew I could tell you because you have never judged me.’ He opened up and talked about his many struggles in his life,” Cloud said. “God began to bring his healing love into Alex’s life. Today, Alex is happily married and going to church and living a clean life.”

It was through this interaction and friendship God reassured Cloud that he was where he was supposed to be.

“This happened after I had gone through a difficult time in my ministry and almost left the church as a pastor,” Cloud said. “God was reassuring me that I was doing what I should be doing.”

Cloud said that he loves what he does as pastor. He enjoys caring for people and serving the Lord. Even still, there have been difficult times he has had to walk through as a pastor.

The biggest thing that causes Cloud’s heart to break is Christians causing other Christians pain.

“I have witnessed the critical, judgmental and negative attitudes of many of those who call themselves followers of Jesus,” Cloud said. “My heart breaks over the wounds that I have witnessed Christians causing other Christians.”

Cloud said he has even been on the receiving end of personal attacks from fellow Christians. For instance, there was a time an anonymous letter was sent to his congregation questioning his ability to pastor and lead a church. He said he had to learn how to give grace and love in the midst of the situation, and not only lead his church through it, but his wife and sons through it as well.

As for what Cloud hopes he is able to do through his ministry, he wants these personal attacks between Christians to diminish.

“I pray that I can build love and grace into the lives of Jesus’ followers so that they can stop attacking those they disagree with, and live a life that walks out the character and nature of Jesus,” Cloud said. “I believe that this is how we can draw others to God. We must model what we teach, preach and say we believe.”

The Cross Wesleyan Church has only been up and running for seven years, but is already very involved in ministering to the community.

“Pastor Mike is serving an economically challenged community, and his ministry has seen significant impact in the needs of people in the community,” Carder said.

The Cross has a food pantry which is able to assist 600 families a month, as well as provide food for 14 other food pantries in the community. In addition to this, the church is able to provide groceries for more than 4,000 individuals each month.

“The church also reaches out to our community in a variety of others ways,” Cloud said. “One example is that we host a city wide Easter Egg hunt at the local high school in which the gospel is presented to the families of the over 400 children who come.”

As for advice Cloud would give to current Indiana Wesleyan students, he said it’s important to build a growing relationship with Jesus.

“They need to understand what they believe. They must also develop good people skills,” Cloud said. “One must learn to love and care for even the very ‘least of these.’ A head knowledge of God is significant. A heart knowledge of God is the most vital knowledge they need. They will enter our world as his ambassadors. They must learn to represent him well.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

Pastor of the Week | Phil Miglioratti

By: Dezaray Barr & Rick Carder

Phil

Phil Miglioratti

Phil Miglioratti graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a major in secondary education concentrated in English. He went on to study at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned a Master of Art in Christian Education.

While at divinity school, Miglioratti had many teachers who shaped his theology and passion for the Church. He says that his peers were also essential to his time at divinity school.

Although he has never felt an ‘Aha’ moment about the path he has chosen, Miglioratti said that “God affirmed my call when I realized I would rather be teaching students the Bible than extolling Shakespeare.” Miglioratti knows that although job titles, zip codes, and interests change, God’s call is for him to spread the good news and grow the kingdom. Miglioratti said the greatest thing he can do it to take Jesus to work, school, soccer games, and block parties; that is his call.

Miglioratti currently serves as the National Facilitator of City and Community Ministries for Mission America Coalition (US Lausanne Committee). He is the Founder of the National Pastors’ Prayer Network and the Curator of the Pray.Network.

He said that his biggest trial to overcome within his congregation is himself. “Recognizing my leadership style and discerning my strengths and weaknesses enabled the Holy Spirit to coach me in focusing my passion and pursuits of ministry,” he said. “The Lord called me to connect the people to God through corporate prayer. But it took several life lessons for me to realize his mission for me.”

The mission that Miglioratti has for his church is that his people connect to God through prayer, both untitled1corporate and individual, and that the city and community they are apart of is able to transform. Each week, he preaches biblical messages, teaching his congregation about outward focused prayer training.

Miglioratti’s advice for IWU students is simple, “Love Jesus. Love learning. Love people. Learn inquiry prayer.” He encourages students to remember who they are talking to when they pray, to ask the Lord what he wants them to pray about, and remember why God calls His people to prayer in the first place.

Read more about Miglioratti and his work at nppn.org/ or at missionamerica.org.

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a Sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

Rev. George D. Martin Jr., Pastor of the Week

tscBy: Rick Carder

This past week I had the opportunity to meet with Reverend George D. Martin, Jr., pastor of The Sanctuary Church, located in East Indianapolis. I was immediately impressed by his casual, friendly personality. He greeted me with a, “Pleased to meet you brother! How are you?” With a warm embrace and gentle spirit it is not surprising that his church is growing.

Martin shared with me his journey over the years. “The location of the church we are at right now is a God-thing…We can see the hand of God on this ministry,” he shared. After moving from several locations, the church has settled on the east side of Indianapolis. Experience is something that he believes helps develop him as well as his church.

Martin shared his testimony, giving credit to the work of the Lord in his life. He shared, “I was serving as an Associate minister in the church where I grew up in. I accepted my calling into ministry just a few years before. I felt God impress upon my heart the vision of a church with multiple ethnicities and gave me the mission ‘Many Nations, One Body, In Christ’.”

According to an article in the Indianapolis Recorder,

Martin’s journey to the Eastside place of worship is long and one that required him to have unshakable faith in God’s plan for him and the ministry. In 1999, he was already a developing minister at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, but he said the Lord began speaking to him about starting a church for people who needed to be restored.

Keeping this vision at the forefront of his ministry, he has said that one of the biggest challenges he faces in his ministry is, “Planting an urban church ministry with no formal guidance or preparation plan”. Add to this situation that there were only five individuals and their children in at the time, and you realize this was ordained by God.

martin-family2

The ministry continues to reach out to the local community. Martin’s ministry is very active in their church and community. He said, “The Sanctuary Church was established in March 2002. The name comes from Exodus 25:8 ‘And let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them.’ The Sanctuary Church is striving to be an earthly reflection of the community of heaven.”

martin-family

The Sanctuary Church is a part of the Crossroads District of The Wesleyan Church.

 

Pastor Martin is married to Toyin and they have four children, Jeremiah, Tylin, Tyah, and George III.

 

Written by Rev. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni & Church Engagement at Indiana Wesleyan University.