For the first eleven years of my campus ministry career, I typically spent each Sunday worshipping at First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, KY. It was always vibrant and meaningful, particularly because the church was blessed with Rev. Harold S. Mauney who preached with passion and intellect.
Harold is remembered for his humor, tenacity, bravery and especially his commitment to the future of the church. He was the perfect mentor for so many young preachers as he taught us ministry skills by example as well as the value of caring for our families and ourselves.
Harold lost his battle with cancer in 2005 and he is surely missed. Because of his influence, Sunday, September 25 was a day of joyful reflection as we celebrated Harold’s ministry by launching the Harold Mauney Fund for Preaching Excellence in support of the Academy of Preachers.
It was a tremendous service, and fellow former church member Hunter Bates and I had the joy of sharing with the congregation how Harold touched our lives and why we are supporting this fund-raising effort. A 22 year-old preacher, Rev. JC Campbell, who serves on the Academy’s Leadership Team, eloquently preached about peacemaking. His words reminded us that Harold was very much about the kingdom’s business.
Harold’s unique ability to encourage someone to be more than he or she thought possible rings true in the work of the Academy. Just as Harold brought out the best in people, young preachers report their involvement in the Academy helps them clarify their calling, improve their preaching and broaden their understanding of others.
Rev. Harold Mauney embodied the spirit of the Academy of Preachers by expecting preaching excellence from himself and the absolute best from the young people he mentored. He was equal parts preacher and pastor. No one ever loved a congregation more than Harold.
Because Harold’s commitments were so in sync with the Academy of Preachers, I’m following God’s lead with the help of his friends and family to “pay forward” the gifts he gave. All are welcome to join us in remembering a treasured preacher with a gift to the Academy of Preachers by following this link, www.academyofpreachers.net/support/the-harold-mauney-fund-for-preaching-excellence.
Finally, I am so pleased to announce that the Baptist HealthCare Foundation has made a lead gift of $15,000 to launch this fund! Blessings to them and to each of you for encouraging and supporting young preachers.