Crossroads Staff

Eldon Sanders

Lead Pastor

Joe Carrel

Community Life Pastor

Ethan Nickerson

Worship Arts

Shelley Eckenwiler

Kids and 456 Pastor

Josh Lemon

Youth Pastor

Meghan Shumate

Administrative Assistant

Statement of Faith

We believe that God is an all-wise, holy, loving, infinite, all-powerful, and personal being. He made each of us for a special relationship with Himself and made the world as a place for us to grow in that relationship.

We believe that sin separates every person from God. Yet, because He loves us so much, He became a human being in Jesus Christ to win us back to Himself. Jesus’ perfect life showed us God’s design for our own living. His death on the cross was a loving exchange of an innocent life for those who deserved to die for their sins. His resurrection from the grave serves as His promise to share eternal life with all who choose to love.

We believe that faith is a grateful, trusting, and obedience to Jesus Christ. It is the way to find freedom from past guilt and enjoy acceptance and fellowship with God today.

We believe that the Holy Spirit lives within all Christians to transform the character and habits of our lives. He enables us to love God with our whole being and to love each other as well.

We believe that the Bible is the inspired, living and authoritative Word of God given not just for information but for transformation.

We believe that the church is a family of believers who build up one another’s faith. Through the church, the Lord continually reaches out to give His new life to those who do not yet know him.


Crossroads Church was founded in 1933 by people with a vision and a passion to reach their community for Christ and the wisdom to commit themselves to a foundation of prayer. At the center of these early efforts was Denver Pease. Denver met with leaders from the First Pilgrim Tabernacle of Grand Rapids and approximately a dozen other individuals who had a burden for the Rockford area. Over the next few years, they prayed for Rockford and God’s direction in establishing a Pilgrim Holiness Church there. During this period, the Rev. Edward Boone of Grand Rapids tested the waters and ended up holding ten days of successful tent revival meetings on Sigsbee Street. The church was birthed out of this revival.

Having had their lives changed and their marriages restored, the newly saved were burdened by God to become the body of the new church. A small group of 19 believers began meeting in homes and in 1933 formed the Rockford Pilgrim Mission. Pease was elected the congregation’s first pastor, and the first services were held downtown at the corner of Bridge and Dayton Streets.

Within several years, the small congregation grew and took their next big step – constructing and dedicating their first building, situated at 251 Northland Drive. Attendance generally fluctuated between sixty and one hundred people, and, while sustained growth was a struggle, the congregation was very close-knit.

Following a denominational merger in 1968, the church changed its name to Rockford Wesleyan Church. During this era, members expressed a desire to build a youth center. Memorial funds were raised after the tragic death of thirteen-year-old Becky Grimm, and land was purchased for future ministry to the community.

In 1996 the church took a bold step of faith as it decided to sell its current property and relocate. A name change was again considered by the congregation, and the words of Jeremiah 6:16 became foundational in this decision: “Stand at the crossroads, and look, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” The word Crossroads was considered significant, including a pivotal point in a person’s life and representing the church’s role in connecting people to Christ.

In the fall of 1996, the congregation moved to Rockford North Middle School, where numbers grew and plans were again discussed for a new building. The current facility was built, and in January of 1998 the first services were held.

Today, Crossroads strives to be authentic and relevant, focusing on meeting people where they are and leading them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  Crossroads is now prayerfully anticipating our next bold step of faith with the same passion as those who originally founded it, by responding in obedience to God’s vision of reaching people who are far from God and taking the life-changing message of Christ to the people of Rockford and beyond. To learn more about our denomination, check out www.wesleyan.org.