National Strategy Meeting

Dirt Roads Network is convening a national strategy session on August 21-23 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Over the last 18 months God has attracted several key pastors from around the country to the Dirt Roads Network’s vision. These pastors will meet for three days to pray, plan and deploy. Our goals include a strategy for rural church planting and revitalization, establishing cohorts and peer networks, and providing training events and conferences.  

I would like to introduce you to the team so you can be in prayer for us as we convene. As you pray, thank God for assembling such a great group of leaders from various parts of the country. God is clearly on the move.   

(Going left to right)

Ben Kidder: In 2006 Ben planted the River Church in Minong, Wisconsin (Population 517). They are a daughter of Hayward Wesleyan Church. He and Ingrid have been there ever since. Just this past January, The River planted a campus in Solon Springs, Wisconsin (pop. 600). They would love to plant a number of churches up HWY 53, all the way to Duluth, Minnesota.

Dave Hanson:  Dave is the Lead Pastor of Lakeview Community Church. Dave and his wife Sara planted LCC in the rural community of Lakeview, Michigan (Population 2,000) in 2010.  The church runs well over 200 in attendance. Dave has a heart for rural church planting and would love for Lakeview to become a hub church for rural plants all through northern Michigan.  

Doug Preston: Doug is the Senior Pastor at LifeLine Wesleyan Church in Greensburg, Indiana. He is the Church Multiplication and Discipleship director for Indiana South Wesleyan District and the executive officer to the District Superintendent.  He was raised on a small farm in southern Indiana. He has participated in the revitalization of two small rural churches and has a passion for helping other pastors in their journey to do the same.

Dr. Marcel Lamb: Dr. Lamb has a life-long affiliation with the Wesleyan Church; his father served as a Wesleyan pastor in bi-vocational small and rural churches. He has served churches in both the Wesleyan and United Methodist denominations and he has a heart for small, rural churches.  His dissertation was a study of small rural declining churches that were very near death, but that had turned around against all odds.  He is very familiar with the story of Lamont Wesleyan Church.   

Second Row

Jason and Laura Hurd:  Jason and Laura serve as pastors in the rural community of Gordon, Nebraska (population: 1,400). Both are ordained in the Wesleyan Church. Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministries from Kingswood University and Laura a Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership from Wesley Seminary. They have lived in Gordon for over eighteen years. Laura’s graduate work focused on ministry in rural Nebraska.

Andrew and Kara Hurlburt: Andrew and Kara have served at Lamont Wesleyan Church and Dirt Roads Network for over a year. They co-pastored Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church in the small community of Seagrove, North Carolina for over ten years; leading it through a dramatic turn-around. Kara served as a missionary overseas before becoming a rural missionary. Their move to Lamont is a key part of the Dirt Roads’ story.

Marilyn Searcy: Marilyn is a pastor at Renovate Church in the small-town community of Delmar, which sits right on the state line of Delaware and Maryland (hence the name Del-Mar!).  She also is an adjunct professor at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.  She serves on the District Board of Administration. Directs the children's camping ministry and serve as the President of Chesapeake Camp and Conference Center.  She also teaches social work as an adjunct at Salisbury University. 

Richard Hall: Richard has served as the Lead Pastor at Eden Wesleyan Church in Chesnee, South Carolina for the past 25 years. Eden is located in the middle of peach orchards and strawberry fields in a small farming community. Richard also serves the SC District of The Wesleyan Church as Church Revitalization Director on the district staff. Richard is establishing himself as an expert in the area of rural church revitalization.

As you can see, God has compiled an amazing team. Please be in prayer for us as we convene on August 21-23.

Steven McVey