The Space Between: 2016

February 23, 2017 | Posted in News & Updates | By

2016 was a year of transition for us as we at WPBC regrouped after Tom Eden’s long tenure as pastor.  We called 2016 a time of “liminal space” and within this space we looked for how the Spirit of God would move and direct us.  As much as we wished God would lay out a clear path so we would know what lay behind every bend in the journey, he did not.  Instead we learned in new and marvelous ways how God leads his children by faith.  When I look back at 2016 and all that God had done- during all the uncertainty and the many decisions- I have one word, Awe.  God’s work in our lives was amazing.  God took us down this journey to grow us up, prepare us, and raise up new leaders in the church.  He has prepared us for the next chapter. But most of all, we testify that this liminal space has brought God glory.

God desires to use this weak rag tag group of Woodruffians to shine his light like crazy to proclaim his kingdom.  We testify that when we are weak, he is strong.  The fact that we have been in our changing community for over 120 years and have thrived through this transition is a testimony to the Lord’s strength and faithfulness.  It is lesson to remember as we embark on our next chapter.  We have been called to leave this liminal space for yet another liminal space.  Such is the adventure of faith.  Are we all not called to live outside our comfort zones, in liminal spaces, so we would lean more on Christ?  May we never get lax in our faith!

In 2016 God blessed us with a wonderful year of renovation.  Our building renovation is a physical expression of what God has been doing in our congregational life.   Several groups assisted us with repairs, like First Baptist Church of Douglassville who refurbished our church sign and installed lights for it.  The renovations helped us welcome back Youthworks for the summer.  Together we provided a dynamic opportunity for hundreds of teenagers to grow deeper in their faith while staying in our church building.  It was wonderful to build some great relationships with the young staff and provide for them a context of incarnational urban ministry.

At the end of 2016, we have welcomed our new pastor, Ron Nunez, who moved from the San Francisco Bay Area.  (That’s another faith journey I’d love to tell share!)  Our church stood ready and expectant for what Christ will do as we embraced Pastor Ron and his family and showed them true Woodruffians hospitality.  The church rallied behind the process and we had a lot of fun getting their new home ready and welcoming them to Indianapolis.  We joked at their willingness to move from the warm Bay Area in the middle of our cold Midwestern January.  But such is faith, it has us do some strange things.

Pastor Ron’s background is diverse and urban.  He has straddled social and racial differences in the two churches he has pastored while navigating those churches toward community and outreach.  In addition, he has spent the last two years working with people who have mental illness to guide them in their life choices.  God has prepared his heart to value how we model our ministry in Christ through intentional community.  This was immediately apparent upon their family’s visit.  It was if they had come home.

Pastor Ron has already called us further into discipleship.  He has the experience to engage our extremely diverse context- smack dab in the middle of the city.  He also has the attitude to listen and learn as he takes on a new leadership role.  Please pray with us for the new liminal space we have entered with our new lead pastor.

The high call of ministry on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis is a wonderful privilege for us.  We delight in the ways God is working in our church and neighborhood.  We proclaim there is a still small voice that endures through our bullhorn sounding culture.  Indeed, the mustard seed revolution will have its way.  The word of God will not return void.  We sing that truth loud and clear in our worship.  We are the people who sing- who love to sing with our lives the gospel story.  Together we praise God in our Woodruffian way.

In Christ!

Joey Newsom

Pastor of Community Outreach, Woodruff Place Baptist Church

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Prayer Walk

September 22, 2016 | Posted in News & Updates | By

Our prayer walk yesterday came about because we wanted to respond to the violence in our community.  It was only after planning the event that I realized it was the International Day of Peace.  We began our prayer walk at the church building and made several stops along the way to pray.  We sat together in a backyard and prayed together.  We read Scripture together.  We sang together.  We ended the prayer walk where there was a recent murder.  It was here the words below were said and prayed.  May they come true!  Peace is found in the deep and abiding love of Jesus Christ!

We face today in our nations, in our homes, and in ourselves a spiritual poverty that encourages violence and rebellion against each other.  In the Bible story of two brothers, Cain and Abel, Cain murdered Abel, and the blood of his brother cried out to God from the ground.  Cain proclaimed against God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  Cain denied his responsibility- his actions as they grieved the Lord.  We proclaim today- not to sweep under the rug the death and violence in our midst and to hope it goes away.  Nor do we shrink back in fear and let our nightmares overcome us.  Neither do we seek to strike back with a vengeance of our own.  We are here to proclaim Jesus as Lord.  He is the Prince of Peace.  We are here to proclaim his reign.  We pray that he would be proclaimed in our neighborhood.  We pray for the families devastated by violence and unnecessary tragedy.  We pray that respect would be held for law enforcement and that our officers would be just and fair.  We pray that all will know, we are indeed our brother’s keepers and we have a responsibility to watch out for one another.  We pray that his love will penetrate the darkest corners and his light will shine in every heart, in every home, and indeed in our nation today.  Only then will there be peace.  

As the blood spilled in violence and injustice defiles our land, so we anoint this land for God’s purpose and his will.  We proclaim God’s victory even in this.  We grieve but we also rejoice in the peace Jesus gives us.

The land is anointed.

(Let us remember that love compelled Christ Jesus to give his blood for us and by his wounds we are healed.


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Read the Bible Through

December 13, 2015 | Posted in News & Updates | By

New Year’s Bible Reading at Woodruff Place Baptist Churchopen-bible-2-1425480-640x480

Woodruff Place Baptist Church (1739 E. Michigan Street) is hosting a non-stop Bible reading to bring in the New Year.  We believe reading the Bible through is a great way to bring in the New Year!

We will start at Midnight on New Year’s Day 2016 and we expect it to end sometime on Sunday January 3, 2016. 

We won’t stop until we are done!

Everyone is welcome to come through our sanctuary doors and hear Scripture being read day or night. 

And if you feel adventurous you may also participate with us.  You will need to sign up in advance for a time slot.

We would love to have other believers and churches from the Near Eastside represented as we read Scripture together.

For more information contact Woodruff Place Baptist Church at 327-639-2501 or feel free to email Joey Newsom, Interim Pastor at

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Woodruff Place is on Facebook!

November 21, 2015 | Posted in News & Updates | By

Take a moment to visit us on Facebook and like our page! You’ll get all the latest news and see the latest photos.

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