By Caitlin Knox
This coming Monday, October 21, Georgetown students interested in becoming preachers will be preaching at the Festival of Young Preachers. So far, Jose Baeza, Tyler Higgins, Connor Mook, Michelle Ballard and Aaron Wilson are planned to speak. They will each give a 12 to 15 minute sermon on the topic “questions of the soul.”
With this event, attendance is particularly important. As people come in to hear the students, they will be able to sign up in support of a speaker. The student with the most amount of supporters will receive a $500 scholarship towards the National Festival of Young Preachers. This will cover the cost of registration, hotel and food expenses.
Georgetown’s local festival is a part of the Academy of Preachers, a national organization for young preachers. Their mission is to “identify, network, inspire and support young people in their call to Gospel preaching.” It was founded by Dr. Dwight A. Moody, who was the Dean of Chapel at Georgetown College for 11 years. Upon leaving GC in 2008, he started this new visionary organization, with Georgetown being the very first college partner. Academy of Preachers now has 50 Founding Partners, including Harvard Divinity School.
Each year they host their National Festival, bringing preachers with ages ranging from 14-28 years old. All denominations are welcome, and an astounding variety of accents are heard from preachers all over the U.S.
“It’s a chance for young preachers to hone their craft,” said H.K. Kingkade, GC Director of Religious Life. “Some of them have never preached on stage before, so this is the perfect opportunity to preach and get feedback from more experienced preachers.”
GC’s local festival is one of many that are held across the country each year. It will take place at the Jones Hall Nelson Suite from 4 to 6:30 p.m. After the sermons, each speaker will get feedback from two evaluators, Rev. Alan Redditt of Georgetown Baptist Church and Rev. Laurie Brock, Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Michael the Archangel.
The festival will end with a private dinner for the speakers, where they will honor GC alum Wallace Williams. He will be recognized with the lifetime achievement award for giving his life to preaching. They will also present the two young preachers with their scholarships.