Tag : pastor

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Pastor of the Week: Jim Kane

By: Dezaray Barr

Jim Kane

Rev. James (Jim) Kane is the Senior Pastor of the First Church of God in Kendallville, Indiana. Kane graduated from Greenville University in Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in English. He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Religion in Christian Education and from Western Michigan University with a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. “I have benefited from wonderful professors at all three schools,” Kane shared. “They challenged me academically and, in some cases, spiritually as well.”

Kane’s journey to ministry is unlike most, and he did not receive his call until he was in his thirties. “My call to be a pastor has been a journey that has unfolded over the years,” Kane said. “It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I said to my wife, Susan, one day, ‘I think that the Lord wants me in ministry!’ I had looked at my time in ministry as preparation for something else, but that has not happened.”

When Kane arrived at the First Church of God in Kendallville, it was nearly closed, but they chose to work with Kane and the Lord to move forward with the church. “We have had a significant ministry, especially a drama ministry, that became noted by the community, even today,” Kane said. The local community theater will stage Sleep Beauty for the kids’ theater program later this spring at the church.

From the church, there have been Lilly Scholars and other academic leaders and student leaders, such as National Honor Society Presidents and Vice-Presidents, School Newspaper writers and editors, class officers, academic athletic awards and other successful individuals.

Jim Kane, his wife Susan, and their two sons

Kane and his wife, Susan, have struggled with infertility throughout their marriage. “I had infertility surgery 11 years into our marriage,” Kane explained. “Praise the Lord it worked…twice! I remember announcing to the congregation I was serving then that if I did not have this surgery I might never become a father. You could have heard a pin dropped at that moment.” Now, Kane has two sons, Jonathon and Daniel. Daniel is a sophomore at IWU.

First Church of God is a congregation of hard-working individuals who works many hours throughout the week. “Most of our ministry takes place on the weekend, including our monthly Ministry Council meeting. That was something I had to get used to, because church meetings were normally on a weeknights. Weeknights are at a premium here,” Kane said.

Kane’s life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, and the verse has spoken to him during critical times in his life and ministry. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

If Kane could encourage IWU students to do one thing, he would encourage them to study abroad. “If you have a chance to study/travel internationally, take it!” he said. “It is one of the regrets that I did not do some international study.”

At the beginning of February, IWU’s Master’s Praise, including Kane’s son, Daniel, performed at the First Church of God in Kendallville. Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYIZamzES54.



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: Todd Render

By: Dezaray Barr

Todd Render and his wife

Rev. Todd Render is the pastor of the Alliance Church. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He also graduated from Purdue University with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and from Grace Theological Seminary with a M.A. in Ministry.

“In engineering school, I was both awed and humbled by the great minds and the affability of some of the professors. And by some of the other students for that matter,” Render said.

Render became a Christ-follower when he was 39 years old, and he didn’t start seminary until after he was 40. “I was taking night classes while I was working for an orthopedic company in Warsaw, Indiana. That whole idea of allowing yourself to be transformed, of stepping courageously into something new, but something vital and important – well that’s the whole message of being a follower of Christ, and being transformed into His likeness, isn’t it?” Render said.

Render’s time as a pastor has been out-of-the-ordinary. “I’m still doing the bi-vocational thing, working full time in research and development and as part-time senior pastor (which is an oxymoron),” Render shared. “There are so many times when I am affirmed and encouraged and just uplifted by being a pastor. Last year, I performed two marriages, three funerals, and just yesterday, got to do two baptisms, my all-time favorite part! Yet each one is incredibly significant in the lives of people, to share in and bring out the magnitude of those events, to enter into the most significant moments of a person’s life, to point them to Jesus and affirm what God has done – and wants still to do in their lives. One of the hardest challenges is trying to lead the turn-around of a shrinking organization. This is true whether it’s for a department, a company or a church. To take the time to build relationships, to work together to see that vision of what God wants for the community, to love everyone and see them with the eyes of Jesus… I tell you what, some people are easier to love than others! But the Lord reminds me where I am on that spectrum, so I am often reminded of His mercy and grace.”

Alliance Church was born out of a prayer meeting in which three couples gathered 60 years ago in a family’s home. The first building was just a small sanctuary. Although the building has expanded a few times, the original sanctuary has been dubbed Tozer Hall, because AW Tozer preached there, as well as Ravi Zacharias. “I’ve been here only a year and a half now,” Render explained. “We have several congregants in their nineties, but at the same time a thriving children’s program on Wednesday nights with many kids from the community who don’t currently attend our church. After changes in leadership, the people who were left are devoted and love to serve, and eager to see God bring new believers. I will work and worship with a community like that any day.”

Render’s advice to students is simply stated. “Pray that God lead you to that place and to those people, and pray God give you such a love for them. That makes all the pain, and the struggles and the celebrations worth every moment,” he said.



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: Zackry Langford

By: Dezaray Barr

Zackry Langford and his family

Zackry Langford is the Pastor of Surrendered Life Church in Marshall, Michigan. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies in 2010 and from Wesley Seminary with an M. Div. in 2017. “Being a student at IWU solidified my call into the ministry and helped establish a foundation that I have been able to build on ever since. I transferred to IWU in 2007 after attending two other colleges from ‘03-’06, and IWU helped me to grow in my faith as well as help me to discern my next steps into ministry,” Langford said.

As a Pastor, there are moments when Langford feels a peace that surpasses understanding about his call to ministry. “There have been many moments in which I feel like I am on the right path,” Langford said. “To be frank, though, there are many moments in which I wonder if I am on the right track… The big moments are when I get to baptize someone or when I get to be a part of helping someone profess a belief in Jesus for the first time. Those are the moments where I know that I get to be a part of something incredible and that brings meaning to my choice to follow God into this vocation.”

Langford has been challenged, as he completed Seminary and Ordination while working in ministry and raising a young family. “I finally completed both Seminary and became an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church this past summer, which has been a decade long journey. During that time, I got married (in 2007), had three kids and moved a few times. We still battle with the demands of ministry, raising a family and with a wife who runs a successful business.”

Surrendered Life Church

Surrendered Life Church is an incredibly faithful and loving congregation. “What has been both an excitement and a surprise is how willing they have been in taking risks to become the congregation that God wants us to be,” Langford explained about his congregation. “In the three and a half years since we have taken over the congregation, we have had two major fundraising campaigns, changed the name from Marshall Wesleyan Church to Surrendered Life Church and have seen new believers profess a belief in Christ and become baptized.”

If Langford could encourage IWU students, he’d remind them to “Learn how to have a ‘holy discontent’ about the world. I am not sure who coined the term ‘holy discontent,’ but I think it is probably the best way I can describe what it means to have peace and purpose in this life. You have to learn how to be content with whatever your situation is, but also have to have the ability to see what can or needs to be different.”



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: Steve Colter

By: Dezaray Barr

The 100th Anniversary of Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church, June 16, 2017.

Steven Colter is the Pastor of Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry and in 1993 with his master’s in Christian Ministry.

Colter said that IWU had a profound influence on his life and thinking. “As an older commuter student, I didn’t have a lot of interaction with the campus lifestyle and didn’t have the opportunity to build many close relationships except with classmates,” Colter shared. “Dr. David Smith was a favorite professor. He would never tell us what to believe about Theology, except he would present all of the options and then say, ‘Pay your money, take your choice!'”

Colter did not choose to become a pastor. “I grew up in church and saw that most pastors were not treated very well by the parishioners,” he explained. “Poverty seemed to be the means of keeping them humble, at least in the minds of the church leaders. I was involved in every aspect of church life as a layman: Sunday School teacher, youth leader, trustee, bus driver, board member, visitation committee or whatever there was that needed to be done. I just never felt a call to ministry.”

In 1982, Colter picked up the teens of his congregation from a retreat they were on at the Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC) in Champaigne Urbana, Illinois. “At the last rally, Dr. John Maxwell gave an invitation to all who were open to ministry to come forward. I was only there to pick up our teens, but I prayed a very simple prayer and told God that I was available. Nine months later, after the birth of our third child, my wife and I attended a couples retreat. Dr. Paul Mills was the speaker, and though I don’t remember now what he was talking about, he said, ‘God doesn’t want your abilities, He want’s your availability!’ At that moment God spoke to my heart and asked, ‘Steve, are you still available?’ It was as though I was taken back to that arena where I had prayed many months before telling God I was available!  That moment is still as clear to me as on the day it happened.  No, I didn’t choose ministry, but God chose me!” Colter said.

Steve Colter and his wife, Cheri

Colter began as the Pastor at Chapel Pike in 1992. “I had been a youth pastor for just three years and had no experience as a pastor,” Colter said. “I guess they were desperate, and they invited me to come anyway. It has been a long journey of seeing several different congregations come and go. Most of those who were here originally have passed on to glory or have moved elsewhere. However, one of the joys of staying in one place for a long period of time is the privilege of watching the children grow up, marry and begin bringing their own children to church. I have been able to dedicate several of our children to Christ, officiate at their weddings and watch them use their talents to serve the Lord.”

Colter married his high school sweetheart, Cheri Hiatt. They have been married for almost 43 years and have been blessed with four children, three of whom graduated from IWU. They have nine grandchildren, ranging from 19-years-old to just five-months-old.



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: Mike Colaw

By: Dezaray Barr

Mike and his wife, Leslie

Mike Colaw is the lead pastor at Trinity Church in the Indianapolis area. He graduated with a degree in Exercise Science Specialist from The Cooper Institute in 2001. He received his degree in Philosophy of Religion from Oklahoma Wesleyan University in 2002, and in 2014 he attended Wesley Seminary where he earned his degree in Ministerial Leadership.

Although Colaw is not currently working on a specific degree, he continues to learn. “I am constantly taking classes online for the fun of it,” he said. He is currently in a class studying social ethics.

Colaw believes that many people, including professors, think that the primary purpose of school is to teach you how to execute a complicated task like running a business, or in his case preaching a sermon or running a church. “Though this is a part of it, I believe the primary purpose of education is to teach one to assume the posture of a passionate learner for life,” Colaw said. “If this alone is achieved, I believe it will set you up for success more than anything else. I see education as not an end, but a beginning. As it pertains to learning, I see graduation not as the end of a journey but the release of an arrow from a bow. With this presupposition in mind, my favorite professors were not necessarily the ones who perfectly answered my questions or gave me specific tactics, but rather the professors who made my world bigger.”

Trinity Church

Through experience, Colaw does not believe that the purpose of life on this planet is pleasure. “My commitment to [ministry] has more to do with obedience than a feeling of it being ‘right.’ [Our purpose] is to be a conduit of God’s grace and a bringer of His Kingdom in the means and manner of Jesus Christ,” he said. “The times I have been able to enjoy ministry most are when lives are changed and Jesus is made famous. Joy is felt deeply when the faith of a dying man brings fear to its knees and the family sees the power of Christian hope. Joy is felt deeply when I get to help an abandoned single mother restart life and see the family of believers support her and her child. Joy is felt deeply when someone in our church gets a substantial raise and chooses to NOT upgrade his lifestyle, but instead give generously to the expansion of the Gospel and to help those in need. My greatest joys and affirmation of my call aren’t found in tasks that I do well, but in watching the Gospel do immeasurably good work through others.”

Trinity Church has three campuses: one in Northeast Indianapolis, one in Fishers, Indiana and another multi-ethnic location in Garfield Park. “I am not sure we are unique.  Moreover, I think that’s a good thing. We know we’re only stewards. All material things we own will one day be passed on to another. So our objective is always to multiply believers and congregations. We are not obsessed with gathering in as much as we are sending out. The mark of success for us is as much about scattering as it is gathering,” Colaw shared about Trinity.

Colaw wishes to remind IWU students that, “The truer purpose of a liberal arts education isn’t tactics alone but character formation. Or as Plato and Jesus call it, dikaiosune (Greek). Aristotle called it areté.  Homer even purposefully spent time defining the nobility of his heroes in the Iliad and Odyssey. Dallas Willard defines it like this, ‘What that is about a person that makes them right or good.’ This is the primary reason why you are in school. To become the type of person living in a constant state of becoming and living as a Judeo-Christian servant hero.”

“Lift your eyes off of yourselves and see all those in need. Absolutely, God wants to take you to hard places, because hard places are where Christ is needed,” Colaw shared.

Mike’s children

Mike and his wife, Leslie, conducted young adult ministry for a number of years. They now have four children, Noah, Nate, Emma and Cara. Mike likes to think out loud at www.luke117.com, and they would love to connect with you on social media.

Mike and Leslie even created a video to give advice to IWU students! Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/mike.colaw/posts/10156331821682345!


Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: David Grieve

By: Dezaray Barr

David Grieve and his wife, Shami

David M. Grieve is the Senior Pastor at New Life Community Church in Marion, Indiana. He began college at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington in 1994. “My graduation story is not the usual college story,” Grieve shared. “The journey was long, but I finally was able to complete my degree and graduate from Northwest University in 2005 with a B.A. in Biblical Literature.”

After a rough spring semester in 1996, Grieve married his wife, Shami, and joined a one-year internship program, Master’s Commission. Along with his new bride, Grieve moved into his in-laws and began taking correspondence courses from another university. “It was during that one-year internship where God spoke something into my life that forever changed me,” he said. “What I didn’t understand at the time, but have come to understand, is how God was calling something, rather someone, out of me. He was drawing out the noble, kingly man of me and telling me I could be more than I was being and do more than I was doing.”

Grieve lays this concept and lesson out in his book that he published in October, Son of David: Drawing the king out in every man.

Grieve and his daughters

When Grieve was 18, he was planning to play college football. He was a summer camp counselor, “and on a Wednesday night, as these Junior Highers were worshiping God, I heard these words, ‘You’re going to work with kids the rest of your life,'” Grieve shared. That was when he felt called to be a pastor.

New Life Church is unique in it’s cultural DNA. “Our cultural DNA is loving God, others and yourself with great value,” Grieve shared. “Now while this sounds a lot like what other churches say, we focus first on learning to love ourselves with great value first, because it all starts there. Yes we are to love others better than ourselves, but you will never love others with great value if you are not loving yourself with great value. So when you love yourself with great value, you can love others with great value and as we see in Matthew 25, when we love others with great value we are actually loving God with great value.”



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

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Pastor of the Week: Tim Becker

By: Dezaray Barr

Tim and his wife Jennifer. Photo obtained from Facebook

Tim Becker is the Pastor of Main Street Wesleyan Church located in Elwood, Indiana. Becker graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1994 as a double major in Christian Ministries and Vocal Music.

“I had the privilege to sing in University Chorale for five years and The Master’s Praise Quartet for three and a half years while I was at IWU,” Becker shared. “Dr. Todd Guy was a huge influence on my life. He taught me how to strive for excellence and to be disciplined, dedicated and determined.”

Becker was challenged, yet enjoyed the classes he took with Dr. Smith, Pastor Tom Kinnan and Dr. Bence.

Becker has several opportunities early in his ministry as a youth pastor to lead teenagers to the Lord. Some of these teens were not raised in the church or had never even attended church. “God used my love for basketball to build relationship with these kids and be a positive influence in their lives,” he explained. “While I was a youth pastor in Virginia, one of my teens was involved in a bad motorcycle accident with his father. His father passed away and the young man ended up losing his foot from the accident. I spent a lot of time disciplining this young man and built a strong relationship with him. He is now a youth pastor in the Wesleyan Church. I guess when God uses me to positively impact or influence others for His glory, that shows me that I am on the right path as a pastor.”

After Becker graduated from IWU, he was ready to jump right into ministry. “God had other plans,” Becker said. “All of the churches that I talked with about pastoral staff positions fell through or were not right. I ended up working construction for three months. God’s timing was not matching up with my timing.  In July of 1994, a pastor from Roanoke called. He was looking to hire a youth and music pastor. My wife, Jennifer, and I met with the pastor for dinner in Marion. We went to Roanoke and spent the weekend meeting people, preaching and singing. On the way home, Jennifer and I both knew that we were supposed to move to Virginia. God knew what was best.  He always knows what is best.”

Main Street Wesleyan Church (MSWC) is growing in numbers and is growing spiritually closer to both the Lord and each other in the body of Christ. This is the first church where Becker has served as the senior pastor. He served at Main Street Wesleyan Church during his fifth year of college at IWU as the part-time youth and music pastor. At the time, his father was the pastor. “I followed my father, Rev. Ron Becker, as the pastor of MSWC.  He moved out of the parsonage that I had Christmas in every year for 23 years.  Two weeks later, I moved into the same parsonage that my parents had just moved out of.  But it is a privilege and a blessing to be able to follow in my father’s legacy as pastor at MSWC.”

Becker and his family. Photo obtained from Facebook

1 Timothy 4:12 has been Becker’s life verse of mine since he was in high school. It reads, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Becker shared, “I truly do want to live my life in a way that I am setting an example for people in how to live a God-pleasing life. Worship for me is a lifestyle that I want to live out each day.”

Becker hopes to remind students at IWU that it is a good thing we have dreams, goals and aspirations. “But allow God to be the One who is in complete control,” Becker said. “Allow Him to move, guide and direct you through life in His way and His timing.  He knows what is best for you and has plans to give you hope and a future.”



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: Reverend Jaci McNeil

By: Dezaray Barr

Jaci McNeil and her husband

Reverend Jacqueline (Jaci) D. McNeil is the pastor of Faith Wesleyan Church in Rockford, Illinois. She was ordained in 2002 through IWU’s online adult program. “Being an older student, with small children, IWU offered me the chance to get ordained via the internet,” McNeil said. “It’s a fantastic way for people like me to further their education.”

“I had worked in youth ministry for 20 years and began to feel that I should pursue ordination, but having been raised in a denomination that is against female ordination, I couldn’t believe
that’s what God wanted for me,” McNeil shared. “I fought it for about two years. Finally one night, I prayed that if God wanted me to become ordained that He would make it crystal clear to me. That week, a
total of 5 men came up to me and said things like, ‘You’d made a great pastor,’ or ‘You should get ordained.’ After the 5th man spoke up, I quit fighting and began my journey.”

McNeil has been at Faith Wesleyan Church for 11 years. “The congregation was told by the District Superintendent that they had two choices: 1. Close the church or 2. Accept a pastor of the District’s choosing. At that point there were only seven people left in the church. Those seven people didn’t want to see the church closed, so they accepted the District’s condition,” McNeil said.

Today, the church has over 50 people. “Our church is a multi-generational church, the oldest member being 88 and the youngest member being 5. We believe all generations should worship together on Sunday morning,” McNeil said. “There’s no such thing as ‘Children’s Church’ here. We are so invested in everyone worshiping together that we even have an 11-year-old boy singing and a six-year-old boy playing the guitar with the band.”

Her advice for IWU students is, “Learn to do something PRACTICAL. Yes, we ministers need to
learn to preach and pray and visit the sick, but sometimes we need to step in and fill a void. Maybe learn to do plumbing or woodworking. When we first came to this church there were zero musicians. Zero. We started doing karaoke, but knew if we were going to grow the church, we were going to have to change that. My husband and I gave our 14-year-old son a guitar for Christmas and told him to learn how to play. I bought myself a bass guitar and learned how to play. Later, I learned how to play the acoustic guitar too. Today, 11 years later, we have a fully stocked band, complete with drummer. No more karaoke for us!”

“Pastor Jaci has remained a dear friend over the years. I first met her over 20 years ago, as she served to mentor and equip young people. I have admired her heart for ministry and her love for knowledge, and I believe she makes an excellent pastor today!” Rick Carder, IWU’s Director of Alumni and Church Engagement, said.



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

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Pastor of the Week: Tim McClellan

By: Dezaray Barr

Tim McClellan is the Senior Pastor at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion, IN. Pastor Tim was honored as pastor of the week when the series first began, but no article was published about him. He graduated from Milligan College in 1973 with a degree in religion. He also attended Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.

Although McClellan never attended Indiana Wesleyan University, Dr. Wilbur Williams is one of his favorite people. “I brought him to our church at Cedar Valley Community Church in Waterloo, IA many years ago to do some presentations for our congregation. In the years following, we went to the Holy Land a couple of times under his leadership.  From that church, we also connected IWU with one of our members who later became the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at IWU for a number of years and who significantly impacted the World Changers program.”

McClellan’s father was a pastor as well. “I was always proud of his calling and thankful to be his son. He became a role model for me early on, and I wanted to be like him and do what he did just because I respected him so much,” McClellan shared. “As I entered my high school years and began thinking about my future as most young people do during those years, I thought much about how I would serve God.  As I prayed and meditated, I was never ever able to find peace in my heart doing anything else than building up the local church as a pastor. I had peace about that decision back then and still do today after beginning to serve local churches since 1970.”

As the pastor of Lakeview, McClellan has spent a lot of time rebuilding the church financially, in their credibility and in the vision. “Thanks be to God we are well underway, but it has been a journey of patience and persistence. God is good and the people courageous,” McClellan said.

The church also hosts Lakeview Christian School, which is Kindergarten through 12th grade. It hosts a Pre-School Childcare ministry which ministers birth through Pre-School and Lakeview Counseling Center which ministers to nearly 1,000 clients each month.  “These ministries, along with the church, proper provide tremendous spiritual influence to hundreds and thousands of people in Grant County throughout the year,” McClellan said.

McClellan claims Psalm 126:5-6 as his favorite passage. “It calls me over and over again to work at sharing my faith and encouraging others to do the same,” he said.

McClellan encourages IWU students to, “Pay little attention to the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ in your service to Christ. It’s the long view in loving and serving Jesus that you need to keep in view. Never give in to the enemy of your faith and always love and support the local church.”

McClellan is especially grateful for his wife and partner in ministry, Cynthia, who has been with him since 1970. They have four children. Their son, Peter, graduated from IWU and earned his M. Div. at Southern Baptist Seminary. He now lives in Louisville with his wife Karrie and daughter Charlotte. McClellan’s oldest daughter Christians, lives in Champlin, MN with her husband and three children where she serves as a nurse. Their youngest daughter, Liz, graduated from IWU earned her M. Div. at Asbury Seminary. She and her husband Michael, along with their daughter, are serving the Lord in Newberg, OR. Their oldest son, David, went to be with the Lord at age 14 in 2001 after fighting bone cancer for a little over a year.



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

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Pastor of the Week: Eric Roemer

By: Dezaray Barr

Roemer at work

Eric Roemer is the Lead Pastor of Greentown Wesleyan Church in Greentown, IN. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2006 with a degree in youth ministry, and he obtained his M. Div. from Wesley Seminary in 2013.

During his time at IWU, Roemer served in the local church and learned alongside his professors. “The things I learned in the classroom I used immediately. That process allowed me to learn how to self-educate faster and helped me create a network of resourcing,” Roemer said.

As an undergrad, Bud Bence was one of Roemer’s favorite professors. “Chris Bounds, Steve Lennox and David Smith were also very important in my early education and ministry preparation,” Roemer said. “Although I was never enrolled in any of Ivan Pongracic’s classes, I loved to sit in and listen to his lectures every chance I got. At the seminary, Lenny Luchetti, Collen Derr and John Drury had a huge impact on my formation and ministry.”

Roemer and his church are passionate about caring for the community they live in physically, spiritually and emotionally. They believe that as the church, that is their responsibility.

“Greentown Wesleyan is doing everything it can to give the people in our community the best opportunity to meet, follow and serve Jesus Christ. We believe that it’s God’s plan that all people would be His people and He would be their God,” Roemer said. “Everything is about relationships. We have amazing compassionate outreach ministries: a food pantry that serves dozens of families a month in our zip code and a clothing ministry that provides quality clothing for our community. Annually, we help make Christmas a reality for 30-50 families on our community. Monthly, we load a trailer and do a pop-up dinner somewhere in town to show people that they are important and to build stronger relationships with our neighbors.”

Roemer and his family

2 Timothy 2:2 has been Roemer’s life verse. “This verse has guided me, because we are just one step in a much bigger story. Its important that we take our role seriously, because the generations that follow are counting on us,” he said.

If Roemer could tell all IWU students one thing, he’d say, “Its not about you. Its not about what you have to offer. Its about what you actually do.”



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