The Chesapeake Connection :: November 2014 :: Celebration of Ministry; Journey to Ministry; LIFEpoint Groundbreaking; The Gathering and other District News



A full sanctuary of pastors and congregants gathered on Sunday evening, October 26, 2014 at Easton First Wesleyan Church to honor our district pastors who have achieved milestones in ministry. Certificates were presented to ministers for continuous years of service to The Wesleyan Church for five, ten, fifteen, and twenty years. Those honored with plaques for twenty-five years were Rev. Scott Conn, Rev. David Kiser, Dr. JoAnne Lyon, Rev. Michael Hilson, and Rev. Doug Morley. Those honored for thirty years of service were Rev. Ken Figgs, Rev. Dan Gilgam, Rev. James Yoder, and Rev. Bob Hawkins. Those with thirty-five years were Dr. Kye Soo Ahn, Dr. Jeff Fussner, and Rev. Lynette Thomas. Rev. Robert Daniels, Sr. was given a plaque for forty years. Rev. Rick Schaffner and Rev. Dan Taylor received plaques for forty-five years and Rev. Paul Dieter was honored for sixty years of continuous service to The Wesleyan Church. The district also celebrated four ministers who have recently retired from active district appointment:  Rev. Dan Orshaw, Rev. Gary Hicks, Dr. Jeff Fussner, and Rev. Jerry Beall. Dr. JoAnne Lyon spoke a timely message, and a dessert fellowship hosted by Easton First Wesleyan Church concluded the celebration evening. 


The Ebola Relief offering received during The Celebration of Ministry service was $2,466. Designated for the purchase of an ambulance to transport Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, the offering was given to World Hope International (WHI) which is anticipating the arrival of a Ford Ranger Field Ambulance in November. Donations for this project may be made online to World Hope International's Ebola Emergency Response fund or sent to World Hope International, Attn: Gift Processing, PO Box 17151, Baltimore, MD 21297-1157.  22314

Click HERE to view is a short video about the crisis, and the efforts of our church partner World Hope International. Click HERE to download the MP4 version of the above video in case you would like to be able to add it to presentation software.


For LIFEpoint Church, October 26 was a groundbreaking Sunday – one almost seven years in the making. 

Some 500 people were in attendance as the church, quite literally, broke ground on its new building slated to open in 2015. But LIFEpoint did more than just dig a little dirt. The church, which will be located off the highly trafficked Route 228 in Waldorf, partied all day celebrating what God has done, what God is doing, and in anticipation of what God will do through His people at LIFEpoint. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building … Ephesians 2:19 (The Message). 

However, the building process hasn’t always been an easy one for LIFEpoint. There have been significant challenges along the way, but at every barrier God has brought a breakthrough. Through dedicated prayer, faithful giving, and courageous obedience to God, LIFEpointers are learning to lean into God and become part of a story bigger than themselves. And the groundbreaking was no different. From worship, praise and prayer, to special guests and poignant messages, and great food, and family fun, it was truly a powerful day filled with the Spirit of the Lord – a day much bigger than just LIFEpoint itself. 

Nowhere was this more evident than when shortly before the worship service one of the members of LIFEpoint gave lead pastor, Michael Rogalski, a shovel used in 1993 at the groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion terminal at Washington National Airport. The shovel became a sermon illustration during the message with Pastor Rogalski noting that just as an airport is a hub for transporting travelers to every part of the planet, so will it be with LIFEpoint. “An airport exists for transportation, and LIFEpoint exists for transformation,” he said. “What happens through LIFEpoint cannot stay here. The Gospel is meant not just for Waldorf but for every corner of the world!"

With more than 60,000 neighbors who rarely or never attend church and millions more around the world, the groundbreaking was just a taste of how LIFEpoint hopes to make a difference and point the way to life in Jesus Christ both locally and globally. The best is yet to come! 


January 13-16, 2015

The GatheringJanuary 13-16, 2015, is a powerful, 3-day celebration at the The Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida where Wesleyan clergy and spouses gather for encouragement, inspiration and to engage with one another.  The journey of spiritual leadership is never meant to be taken alone and God is already using this event to spark a revival in our churches and communities. The Gathering is more than a conference. It is a movement of giving hope to one another as together we bring hope to the world. Click HERE for more information and to register.  


By Dr. Meredith Griffin

What does ministry mean to me? Recently, I was asked to give my testimony regarding the answer to that question at a gathering of my ministry colleagues. The catch? I only had 5 minutes to share. A preacher, a microphone, a captive audience, and just 5 minutes; this was truly the definition of “preacher torture.” What could I say about a, to this point, 22 year journey with God in ministry that would edify and encourage my colleagues while conveying ministry has come to mean to me? I was able to whittle it down to four words….surrender, sacrifice, service, and satisfaction. 

SURRENDER: My, and I believe all, ministry journeys begin with surrender. I know that mine did. I first had to surrender my life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That primary importance of that surrender, for any living person, cannot be underestimated. I next had to surrender my plan for my life, allowing God to exchange it for a much better plan. It was never my intention to pursue ministry as a vocation. In fact, church was never a primary focus for my life. Upon graduating from Hampton University I intended to make my fortune in corporate finance and money management. God clearly had another plan for me that I knew nothing of at the time. It was up to me to surrender to his will and plan. We are all, whether it is in ministry or any other area of life, confronted with the reality that we can either take the path that we have chosen for ourselves or surrender to God and follow his path.

SACRIFICE: Ministry is sacrifice. After surrendering our life design and plan for God’s plan, sacrifice becomes a regular part of a life in ministry. I, we, willingly sacrifice time with family, normal working hours, and a level of privacy. Sacrifice isn’t a bad thing and ministers are by no means the only people who sacrifice. But sacrifice, as in the life of Jesus, becomes a mark of a minister’s life. The Christian in general, and the Christian minister in particular, is called to a life of sacrifice. What are we willing to lay on the altar of our faith? What are we willing to crucify for our love of Christ? I have, through the years, come to see my life through the lens of Christ’s love and sacrifice for me. His love for me has nurtured in me a reciprocal kind of love and desire to sacrifice for him.

SERVICE: A minister is, at the core, a servant. To think, live, or believe otherwise is a falsehood and harmful to the mission of the gospel. A minister’s service is both private and personal, corporate and public. A minister serves in the town square and in the pulpit, in homes and in hallways. Jesus was able to point those he led to the importance of living a life of service by living such a life himself. In the gospel that bears the name of Matthew he admonishingly reminds them that he, the Son of Man, came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. In my decades of ministry service this notion has only reinforced my understanding of the sacrificial nature of Christian ministry. It isn’t, and neither can it ever, be about me. If Christ came to serve others, not making ministry about himself, then I am called to do the same.

SATISFACTION: Finally, ministry to me is about satisfaction. When I think of the life that I get to live daily I know that I am a blessed man. When I think of the people that I get to serve and serve alongside I am satisfied. I think of the life that I had planned for myself and I contrast it with the life that I now live, and all I can do is thank God. My life, as a minister of the gospel, isn’t filled with charm and status. My life, as a minister of the gospel, isn’t filled with extravagance. Honestly, sometimes it is a bare bones life. Sometimes it is a life lived on the margins. But when I remember the message that I am entrusted to carry to the world, when I think of the hope that I am charged to represent, when I think of the lives I am afforded an opportunity to interact with and possibly impact, I cannot be anything but grateful and satisfied.

Many may look and only see what my life may seem to be missing. I would tell them to look a bit deeper. This life I live started with a surrender, but I found that surrender made me a victor and not a victim. This life I live has demanded countless sacrifices, but the things I gave up are but rubbish when measured against all I have received. This life I live makes me the servant of others, but in serving others I have come into the presence of great men. When I think of this life that I have the blessed honor to live for Jesus Christ, as a minister of the gospel, I know that I would be a fool to be anything but more than satisfied.

Dr. Meredith Griffin is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Wilmington, DE.


In 2008, Pastor Mike Hilson of New Life Church in La Plata, Maryland, stated that one of the ways he would measure New Life as being a successful church is by the number of people that enter vocational ministry.  To help facilitate this goal, Journey to Ministry was created.  The twelve week class is taught by various members of the New Life network pastoral staff and includes sessions on calling, discipleship, theology, leadership and mentoring.  At the end of the class, students are interviewed by the teaching pastors and the class coordinator, and each student is asked “Are you called to vocational ministry, and if so, how do you know?  In what ministry(ies) are you currently serving, what is your passion, what is your goal relating to fulfilling your calling and how do you plan on pursuing your ministerial calling?”  Since its inception, 84 people have registered for the class, 11 are currently serving in the ministry and 10 are currently studying for the ministry.

Starting February of 2015, the classes will be recorded on video.  These video lessons will be available to other churches within the Chesapeake District that would like to equip those God has called to various roles of vocational ministry.  For further information about the class or to receive the video lessons, please contact Leeann Little, Director of Send Ministries, at 301-609-8423 or

GROWTH POINTS with Gary McIntosh 

Who led you to faith in Christ? In the November issue of the Growth Points, Gary McIntosh explores the changing face of evangelism in North America and encourages church leaders to use these insights for greater evangelism effectiveness. Click HERE to download the November 2014 edition of Growth Points. Additional articles can be accessed at Dr. McIntosh's new website


Hundreds of people gathered at Denton Wesleyan Camp on October 24 and 25 for the "Drive 2 Thrive" Fall festival and fundraiser. Activities included hayrides, craft fair, pumpkin decorating, moon bounces, face painting, costume contest, music, and plenty of food. Over $18,000 in funds and pledges were raised towards the goal of $120,000.  With the "Drive 2 Thrive" campaign running through 2015, there is plenty of time to make a donation.  Anyone wishing to invest in the future of Denton Wesleyan Camp ministries may do so by sending a check or pledge card to "Denton Wesleyan Camp."  Mail checks and/or pledges to Bill Arnold, P.O. Box 1694, Pasadena, MD 21123-1694. Click HERE to download a "Drive 2 Thrive" pledge form.

For more information or to reserve camp facilities please send an email to or  call Holly Sorrells at 302-604-2582 or Pastor Marilyn Searcey at 302-876-5380.  Click HERE to visit the Denton Camp Facebook page.


Please mark your calendars with the following important dates:


DBMD Meeting
November 11, 7:00 pm
Building Committee Meeting
November 15, 9:00 am
DBA Meeting
November 18, 9:00 am
DBMD Meeting
January 6, 7:00 pm
Building Committee Meeting
January 19, 9:00 am
January 13-16, 2015
DBA Meeting
January 20, 2015, 9:00 am
DBMD Meeting
March 10, 7:00 pm
Building Committee Meeting
March 14, 9:00 am



The Chesapeake District exists to create and empower local churches to impact their communities for Christ.


By District Conference 2020, the Chesapeake District will reach 20,000 new converts and will average 20,000 in primary worship attendance.

The entire operation of the Chesapeake District will be focused to this vision.  Every church and every pastor will be mobilized to double or triple its influence through evangelism, church health and growth, community service, and multiplication.

Core Values

Communicating Christ-Likeness
Developing Effective Pastors and Leaders
Reaching Our Communities for Christ
Multiplying Healthy New Churches
Pursuing New People and Cultures
Nurturing Vibrant Student Ministries
Follow on Twitter | Like Us on Facebook | Forward to Friend 
Copyright © 2014 Chesapeake District of The Wesleyan Church, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences