On a very wet Friday afternoon, the voices of Young Preachers warmed the Bob Russell Preaching Center on Johnson University’s Knoxville campus. Taking a page from the Academy of Preachers, Johnson took the idea of a preaching festival in a new direction.
Preaching professor Dr. Daniel Overdorf led preaching workshops in three cities over the past few months and invited the 66 attendees to come to campus on Oct. 28 for Preach.FEST. No coincidence, this fit perfectly with the school’s preview days.
Preachers both young and older participated and showed off the skills developed from the workshops. Two faculty members and two preaching students evaluated each sermon. Unlike the National Festival of Young Preachers, scripture themes were up to the individuals and included James’ emphasis on putting faith in action and the message from Revelation against tepid convictions.
Three teens won scholarships to the National Festival and to Johnson University, Jared Purdee of South Point, OH, Christian Stewart of Hillsboro, MO and Austin Wright of Farragut, TN. Johnson began training preachers in 1893 when it was known as The School of the Evangelists and then Johnson Bible College.
Their partnership with the Academy of Preachers is a natural fit, and we look forward to hearing from these Young Preachers in January!