New President for Bethany Bible College: The Board of Trustees of Bethany Bible College has announced the election of Rev. Mark Gorveatte as the new President of Bethany Bible College, effective June 1, 2010. With a remarkable sense of unity and of God’s help and guidance, the 20-month presidential search has been concluded with affirmation from faculty, staff, and students of the College. President-elect Gorveatte has served the past ten years as District Superintendent of the West Michigan District of The Wesleyan Church. Prior to this appointment, Rev. Gorveatte and his wife, Sherry, have served for over 25 years in Wesleyan leadership and pastoral appointments in several districts of The Wesleyan Church. Mark is an alumnus of Bethany Bible College, Southern Wesleyan University, and the University of Alabama (Birmingham). He has previously served on the Boards of Trustees of Bethany Bible College and of Indiana Wesleyan University. Mark was born in New Brunswick, and he is coming home. His leadership skills, experience, vision, and passion for BBC makes him an excellent choice to lead the College at this strategic time in her history. We welcome Mark, Sherry, and their family to the Atlantic District.
Sydney – New Roots: Pastor Kevin Myers and the New Roots Launch Team have now experienced three Sundays including their official launch service, which was held March 14th in the Delta Hotel in Sydney, NS. There were over 150 individual names, as well as many churches, that committed to taking a “New Roots” moment during their first service, and remembered them specifically in prayer. Joanne and I were present for the first service. It was a unique weekend to launch a new church; it was the weekend of the time change, the first weekend of the March School Break, and a major basketball tournament involving six universities took place in town that weekend! But Sunday morning, twenty people were present for the first service. Nine of them were from the local area and they represented a variety of ages and backgrounds. March 21st saw fifteen in attendance with five or six new people. This past Sunday 28 people showed up, and four were first-time attenders. Pastor Kevin and his wife, Laura, are excited about the future prospects, and are very quick to give praise to the Lord for His faithfulness and help.
Fredericton Crosspoint had nearly 400 people in church (lya 320) on March 21st, including many visitors. The message was challenging, calling the church to step up and live lives of holiness. Many people confessed that they needed to grow in their faith, and wanted to move forward. There were also six people who accepted Christ for the first time! All in all, it was an extraordinary Sunday – God’s presence was very evident. People are still “buzzing” about it a week later. Thank you, God! Tim Guptill is the Lead Pastor.
Pastor Jason McCutcheon, Associate Pastor at Digby Wesleyan, has led an ‘Encounter series’ in the past weeks leading up to Easter. Senior Pastor Andrew Maves reports that as a result of this, the congregation saw a huge response of people coming to the front and nailing their lives and issues to the cross. This past Sunday (3-28-10), after a powerful morning service, the BBC Chorale ministered in the evening service. Several went forward to pray and a friend who Pastor Andrew has been praying for and investing in for five years came forward to receive Jesus! This person was a former member of Satan’s Choice Motorcycle Club. Pastor Andrew says, “He hasn’t been able to remain silent since it all happened. God is so good…we are celebrating and giving God glory and looking forward to [Easter] Sunday with great expectation.”
Senior Pastor Wayne Robertson, Houlton Wesleyan, shares that on March 21st they had a service with 300 in attendance (lya 238), baptized nine people, and two people accepted Christ! In addition, the offering was almost $1000 over budget. Pastor Wayne says, “I’m looking forward to the day when this describes a normal Sunday.”
Pastor Gary Churchill, Miramichi Wesleyan, reports they held a “Games & Fellowship Night” just over two weeks ago using tables and chairs donated by a restaurant. They set them up in what is their current sanctuary so that people could see how this space will be used in the future to provide a community connection ministry. In addition, Pastor Gary says, “Services have really been blessed by God as of late.” A Sunday night music concert was held March 14th for the purpose of raising funds to purchase equipment for the new sanctuary. Nearly 90 people were in attendance (lya 55) which is a capacity crowd in the present sanctuary, and the offering was $718. Many did a “walk through” of the new addition after the concert.
Assistant Pastor Vaughn Martin reports that God is using Easton Wesleyan and the other churches in Easton to address important needs in the community. Two years ago Pastor Vaughn Martin was approached by community members to see about the possibility of getting a food pantry ministry started. With the help of Senior Pastor Matthew Maxwell, they brought all the churches together and started a town food pantry. The project started with fifteen families being ministered to, and today it has grown to around fifty families. The town has given them a building for this purpose, rent and utilities free! Freezers and shelving were donated. Many people from the Easton Wesleyan Church are responsible for the running of the pantry. The congregation now collects on average 20-30 bags of food every month on the Sunday when they celebrate communion. The pastors praise God for the way the congregation has embraced this outreach.
Pastor Wayne Briggs shares that the Brown’s Flat Fellowship, on Saturday, February 27th, hosted a benefit concert for Haiti at the Beulah Hotel. There were approximately 100 people from Browns Flat and surrounding communities who attended the gathering. Several area musicians, including Saint John Country Idol, April DeLong, and local Wesleyans gave of their time and talents to provide an evening of music, laughter, and community spirit. A generous offering of over $1,100 was given for Haiti relief.
This is just one more example that is reflective of many churches and individuals who have responded to this great need. GP Insiders reports that “because of your generosity The Wesleyan Church has been able to provide short-term relief for our brothers and sisters [in Haiti] in many different ways. Global Partners has distributed more than 50 tons of food, medicine and personal hygiene items in 60 different affected areas. The short-term field clinic in Petit Goave exceeded all expectations and has treated an average of 277 people per day.” For further information on what is happening and how you can help, add the following links to your internet browser favorites: www.globalpartnersonline.org/haiti and www.gpcaribeatlantic.com. Follow GP on twitter.com/gpnow
West Head Wesleyan: Pastor Bill Lea shares that their missions budget this year has been set at just under $12,000. One of the projects the church has taken on is to build a church in the village of Kambordo, in the Salaga Region of North Ghana. One important goal, since Pastor Bill returned from Africa in January, is to send a team of their own to the mission field, which would be a first. The people are very excited about the possibilities for direct involvement in short term missions. Pastor Bill believes they will send their very first team to Guatemala next year as a start. Locally, the church’s vision is, “Every home for Christ, no one left behind.” After several training sessions and much prayer, people from the congregation will head out in two’s in April with the goal of talking to someone in every home on Cape Sable Island about Jesus by the end of the year. The Sunday School continues to grow and they now have 127 people attending.
Senior Pastor Mel Norton shares that Hartland Wesleyan hosted an Easter Egg Hunt on Friday Night (3-19-10) with Christian Videos, music, an object lesson by Youth Pastor Matt Fitzgerald and of course the Egg Hunt itself. There were over 90 children and 30 parents who attended. It proved to be an excellent outreach to the community.
Beulah Camp 2010: The dates for Beulah this year are July 2–11, 2010. The evangelists are Dr. H.C. Wilson, Director of Global Partners, and Rev. John Symonds, Senior Pastor of Fredericton – Corbett Ave. Wesleyan Church. Rev. Don & Janet Ingersoll will be overseeing the music and worship. Pastor Don is the Associate Pastor at Moncton Wesleyan. More information will follow in the next few weeks.
Beulah Wastewater Project (BWP): The BWP is now on the homestretch. Final testing will be happening in the next month, and the system should be operational by May 1st, barring the unforeseen.
Camp Board Strategic Planning Workshop: The Camp Board met for its second Strategic Planning Workshop March 26-27 at Heritage Hall, Beulah Campground. The first workshop was held in February to take a proactive approach to Beulah Camp as it relates to its future and its ministries. This second workshop dealt primarily with Caton’s Island and its unique ministry to children, teens, and families. It was a very positive two days that has begun an important process that cannot be completed in a weekend. I very much appreciated the Camp Board’s renewed interest and ownership of their role and involvement in this important ministry of the District. Wayne Fraser, an experienced facilitator, gave leadership and direction in both workshops. We appreciate his time, expertise, and willingness to help.
Celebration! There will be a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the ordination of Rev. C E Stairs and Rev. R T Benson at Corbett Avenue Wesleyan in Fredericton on Sunday April 25 at 4pm. Refreshments will be served. There is an incredible legacy of ministry represented by these two servants of the Gospel. I encourage those of you within driving distance to make an effort to be present to celebrate with them.
Recall Votes – March 14, 2010:
Rob MacCallum received a very strong four-year call from Sussex Wesleyan
Jeff Hoyt received a unanimous four-year call from Black’s Harbour Wesleyan
Matthew Maxwell from Easton Wesleyan; Dan Lamos, Associate Pastor, from Quispamsis – Kings Valley
Lead Pastor Placements:
Fredericton – First: Matthew Maxwell; Maple Ridge: Nick Graham
Churches in Lead Pastor Transition:
Easton, Me; Havelock, NB; Mount Pearl, NL – Solid Rock; Shelburne, NS – Hope; Westchester, NS
Happy Easter! He is Risen!