Information about Denominational, Regional, and National FestivalsVIEW NOW
How to Join the AoP as a Young Preacher, Professional Minister, or Organization (iPartner)LEARN MORE
information. networks. opportunities. resources.CLICK HERE
Join the Medallion Club with your Monthly GiftDONATE NOW
Another wonderful Festival of Young Preachers! Thirteen Young Gospel Preachers came from miles around in the pouring rain to raise their voices and share their hearts in Round Rock, Texas. Joshua Steptoe of Huston-Tillotson University and Noah Chamberlain of Southwestern Assemblies of God University each won a scholarship to the National Festival of Young Preachers. We can’t wait to hear them in Lexington in January!
Ok, as great as that is, by now with 4 Texas Regional Festivals behind us, it’s not exactly news. Please let me share with you what is.
The high and holy work of hospitality. Working with the AoP for four years now, I’ve experienced graciousness from Harvard to Abilene as campuses have welcomed Festivals of Young Preachers. BUT, never have I known the extent of lavish hospitality poured out on Young Preachers as was experienced at Sweet Home Baptist Church, affectionately known as The Pinnacle of Praise, in Round Rock, TX. Of course knowing Larry Terrell Crudup AoP’10 is an Associate Minister there should have given me reason to expect this time to be different.
I’d visited Terrell’s home church previously, and as an individual, certainly experienced a loving Sunday morning welcome. Hugs from strangers were abundant along with broad smiles and warm inquiries about who I was and why I was visiting. Really great folks, but not totally out of the norm. But let me tell you, when Sweet Home agreed to host the Texas Festival of Young Preachers they took Colossians 3:23 seriously and were serving as unto the Lord himself.
The ushers were the first line of service greeting and directing us into worship. Pastor Dante Wright preached a powerful word directed at the work and life that lies ahead of young ministers. The Pinnacle of Praise Choir all but outnumbered us, and still apologized that not more of them could be present to minister to/with us through music on a Saturday morning. They truly sang us through the gates of heaven and several returned later that evening as the Men’s Ministry set up the church for Sunday morning.
The Culinary Ministry by no means “dialed in” their service. They came early and stayed late decorating, organizing, cooking, serving, waiting tables and absolutely LOVING everyone in the room. They weren’t interested in conserving their energy, they were committed to hospitality at it’s finest. Their response to comments about their corporate attitude? “Hospitality is our spiritual gift at Sweet Home.” This team of dedicated ladies meant it with every fiber of their being. They embodied the Holy Spirit as they cheerfully mopped up spills assuring us, “We’ll take care of that, honey.” Their attitudes were in fact sweet as honey and just as natural.
I love the fact they wear aprons emblazoned with “Sweet Home Culinary Ministry.” They have team spirit and it shows. They aren’t simply a group of volunteers, they know they are about kingdom business and are answering their call to gospel ministry.
And let’s not forget the Media Ministry was in full force all day with a team of professional grade individuals taking pictures and running video so the Young Preachers can learn from watching themselves preach. I saw a videographer smiling as he reviewed a young woman’s self proclaimed “second sermon ever.” He, along with everyone I attempted to thank, exclaimed that spending the day with Young Preachers was a joy for them.
After it seemed everyone but Terrell and his wife Jacinta had gone home after a very full day, staff member Sister Jerry Jones came by despite nasty wet weather to make sure all was well and everything was in order. She cheerfully tended her chores and heard the news of the great day as the Crudups worked into the night prepping the videos for transmission.
Young Preachers are a joy I’m honored to share, especially with such an extraordinary team of gospel ministers. Thank you Sweet Home – The Pinnacle of Praise for sharing your many gifts with such joy!
iPartners Now Number 20 Congregations, Institutions, and Organizations
Aquinas Institute of St. Louis, the Athenaeum of Ohio in Cincinnati, the Orthodox Church of American in New York, and McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta are the latest to join the Academy of Preachers as iPartners. This brings the number of iPartners to 20, and there is room for many other congregations, institutions, and religious organizations.
The first meeting of iPartner representatives will be Monday, January 4, at the noon luncheon during the 2016 National Festival of Young Preachers, at the Hilton Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.
iPartners are one of the three membership categories of the Academy of Preachers, the others being Young Preachers and Professional Ministers. iPartners receive 9 benefits, including use of AoP graphic images, opportunity to sponsor or host AoP events, and use of the Festival Outcomes Inventory. In addition, pastors of iPartner congregation receive a free AoP membership in the Professional Ministers category. Dues for iPartners are $500 per year.
Call or write the Academy of Preachers to discuss how your congregation, institution or denomination can become a Charter iPartner Member of the Academy of Preachers. Here is a list of all 20 iPartners: