The prime event of the Academy of Preachers is the Festival of Young Preachers. Some Festivals are large, with 120 Young Preachers, like the National Festival (to be held next January in Atlanta); and some are small, with 5 preachers (like the John George Pfrimmer Festival of Young Preachers held on the last day of June in Corydon, Indiana).
Most are somewhere between: there were 25 Young Preachers at the Campus Festival at Palm Beach Atlantic University this past April; and 36 Young Preachers are expected at the Texas Regional Festival to be held in Austin this September. Meanwhile, 10 Young Preachers are anticipated at the Campus Festival at Cincinnati Christian University in November.
To help you plan and host your own festival we have develped the Festival in a Box, with all the digital designs and documents you need and also with samples of the many AoP products: lanyards and nametags, tee shirts, festival sermon books and programs, and (of course) writing pens. These things help you transform a humdrum, class room event into a visually impressive, organizationally effective, spiritually-powerful Festival.
By the end of the year, there will have been at least 18 festivals for Young Preachers in 9 states: Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Indiana. And next year plans are underway to add New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and North Carolina to that list.
But there is something new in the works. In an effort to reach more high school students and put them in an experience where they can imagine a future as a public advocate for the Gospel, we have developed the GOSPEL SLAM.
The SLAM will bring together talented, dedicated young people who will perform their orignal gospel compositions in the form of poetry, rap, homily, witness, story, or address. Maximum time is three minutes. Pilot projects are underway this summer and this fall in Columbus, Baltimore, Dallas, and Kansas City (and possibly Louisville and Chicago). We expect 200 to attend the first national GOSPEL SLAM on January 3, 2013, in Atlanta, in conjuntion with the 2013 National Festival of Young Preachers.
Preaching and Slamming are what’s in store for the young adults who attend our events: young adults who are either discerning a call to Gospel ministry or have already embraced such a call. God bless them all, and God bless us as we “Identify, Network, Support, and inspire young people in their call to Gospel preaching.”