The Chesapeake Connection :: February 2016 :: Healing Place Answers Family's Search for God; Wesleyan Response to Flint Water Crisis; IGNITE One-Day Leaders Conference, General Conference 2016; Vision 2020 New Location; other district news and information


Healing Place Church Answers Family's Search for God and Community!

As the granddaughter of Italian immigrates, I was born and raised Catholic. I have always loved the majestic, beautiful rituals of the mass but I never felt as though I had a personal relationship with God. A little over a year ago, I began a journey seeking this relationship. I spent several months attending different churches, looking for a church where I could learn, grow, and challenge myself in the eyes of God. It took many long Sunday’s feeling empty and lost before I finally found Healing Place Church in Waldorf. 

From the moment I walked in the door, it felt different. Although wonderfully surprising, it wasn’t the coffee, snacks, or even the countless welcoming hellos. There was something so much more. There was a quiet peacefulness that came over my soul. Through the music and the sermon, I left that first service feeling as though I was given a gift of guidance, a road map of sorts to help walk me through my week. I left with a sense of purpose, and I couldn’t wait to share this with my husband and sons. When I did, my only request for them was to attend one service with me. Just one. After that they could make their own decision to attend again or not. My husband was the first to join me. As a Midwesterner who didn’t grow up in a religious home, I was nervous about his reaction because I really wanted him to feel something. And he did. He joined me week after week, and we began to form a stronger bond than we ever knew possible. Next came our children. Just once we told them, just come with us once. At first they were conflicted because they attend a Catholic school, and that is the world they have always known and feel a loyalty to. Even so, they agreed to attend one service. 

That was over a year ago. Today, the four of us rarely miss a Sunday at Healing Place. Our nine-year-old has found a home in the children ministry and often asks to stay for both Sunday services. Our fourteen-year-old is active in the teen ministry and recently played a shepherd in the Christmas event. Our family has grown closer in the past year; our connection with each other and with God is stronger than ever. By the end of the week, as we tire from school and work and our patience begins to run thin - our light at the end of the tunnel is knowing we will be filled up on Sunday. God has changed us as a family through this church. We share a common interest, a quest if you will, to collectively develop our individual relationships with the Great I Am.

Written by Kelly DeGraff, member of Healing Place Church, Waldorf, Maryland.

Wesleyans Respond to Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

For over a year, lead has increasingly been tainting the entire water supply for Flint, Michigan. A government action switching the source from Lake Huron to the Flint River resulted in the more acidic river water eroding lead water pipes throughout the city. Although they have changed water sources again, it will take years and an estimated $1 billion to repair the system. Although bottled water is now in use for drinking, cooking, and bathing, test kits and replaceable filters are greatly needed in every household.

In response, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church, has authorized the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund (WERF) to launch an appeal urging churches and individuals to offer prayer and financial support to Wesleyan compassionate ministries there. Pastor Scott Sacrey of Bentley Wesleyan Church is working closely with the Genesee County United Way (GCUW) and the Red Cross to help provide the necessary materials and volunteers needed to assist families affected by the water crisis.  

Please pray for the families in Flint as they cope with this crisis. Pray also for church leaders and volunteers who are coordinating efforts to relieve the suffering. One hundred percent of gifts donated to the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund for the Flint, Michigan Water Disaster will be used to help with materials needed and support of volunteer efforts.  

Donations can be made online HERE. Checks can be made payable to The Wesleyan Church with a note in the memo line for WERF Flint.

Wayne MacBeth
General Secretary, Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund


IGNITE One-Day Leaders Conference will be held at Bay Shore Community Church, 36759 Millsboro Highway, Millsboro, Delaware on March 5, 2016. Open to all areas of church leadership including lead/senior pastors, youth workers, worship leaders, kids workers, greeters and everyone in between, if you volunteer or are on staff at a local church this conference is for you. Speakers and leaders from all these areas of ministry will be leading breakouts and speaking in main sessions. Main session speakers include: Scott Newton, Lead Pastor of HopeCity in High Point, NC; Joseph Kellogg, Student Ministry Pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, TX; and Kenneth Wagner, Lead Pastor of UNITED Church in Dover, DE and IGNITE Network Director. Worship will be led by Ryan Capelli of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC and Andy Peele of HopeCity in High Point, NC. The cost is $39 per person and $29 per person if your church brings 15 or more people.  Click HERE to download registration form.



The General Conference of The Wesleyan Church will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in Buffalo, New York on June 4-8, 2016. The conference will feature inspirational worship and rallies with emphasis on international ministries and church multiplication. It will address current issues affecting the Church and a new General Superintendent will be elected.  In preparation for this historic event, The Wesleyan Church has issued a 2016 GENERAL CONFERENCE PRAYER GUIDE to assist individuals and local churches in their prayers for the future of The Wesleyan Church. The focus of prayer for February includes:
  • Pray that God will touch everyone who attends General Conference.
  • Pray for General Officers making decisions and for whom decisions may be made about further service.
  • Pray for the General Conference Planning Committee as they finalize details for the 2016 Conference.


Vision 2020 will be held on Monday, June 27, 2016 at LaPlata New Life Church, 9690 Shepherds Creek Pl, La Plata, MD 20646. Pastors, delegates, and congregants are invited to attend this important district event. More information coming soon!


"Is Jesus the savior of the world or not?" This is the decision surrounding every opportunity followers of Christ have in sharing the gospel. In the February 2016 issue of Growth Points, Dr. Gary McIntosh emphasizes the importance of preaching for a verdict. He writes, "our role as servants of Christ is to preach the good news of savlation and persuade men and women, boys and girls, to place their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation."  Click HERE to download the February 2016 issue of Growth Points.



Pastors’ Spouses, break away from everyday patterns and busy schedules to intentionally connect with God and each other at this special event planned just for you. Breakaway 2016 will be held at The Wesleyan Church Headquarters in Fishers, Indiana on April 15-16, 2016. If you are married to a pastor, this ministry is for you.  Space is limited to the first 300 registrants, so register early.  Click HERE for event information and to register. 

Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership

Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University has launched an innovative Doctor of Ministry (DMIN) in Transformational Leadership. Students in the program will learn from international speakers from around the world. The program will allow working ministers to earn a leadership doctorate while maintaining their pastoral positions. The four-year program will include online classes as well as two weeks of intensive study each June, offering students the opportunity to meet world-changing leaders in Atlanta, San Diego, and Oxford, England. To find out more about the design of the program, visit

DBMD Establishes April 1 as Annual Deadline for All Required Submissions

The Chesapeake District Board of Ministerial Development (DBMD) has established April 1 of each district year as the annual deadline for all submissions to the board for evaluation and recommendation. This deadline includes annual service reports, recommendations for new ministerial students, and requests for ordination. Candidates for ordination not able to complete the required classwork and receive certification for ordination by the Division of Education and Clergy Development by the April 1 deadline will be considered by the DBMD in a subsequent year. Recommendations for new ministerial students and district licensing may be submitted any time following April 1 for consideration during the next fiscal year.

Protect My Ministry is Now Available for Background Checks at Minimal Cost

Churches of the Chesapeake District may now process background checks for both children and youth volunteers through a district account with Protect My Ministry. For a minimal yearly fee of $25 per church and cost of the individual background checks, churches may do background checks online and offer child protection training to volunteers. For more information, please contact Debbie Hoover at 410-571-9235 or email



Please mark your calendars with the following important dates:


Pastor & Spouse Gathering
February 1-2, 2016
March 8, 7:00 pm
DBA Meeting
March 15, 9:00 am
DBMD Meeting
April 19, 7:00 pm
DBMD Meeting
May 14, 9:00 am
DBA Meeting
May 17, 9:00 am
June 4-8, 2016
Kids Camp
June 20-24, 2016
Vision 2020
June 27, 2016



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
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