Perri Costley is a 15-year-old girl in Atlanta, Georgia, and I am sure she had never heard of the Academy of Preachers until last Saturday. That's when the primary newspaper of America's sixth largest city published a story about her, and about us! Read it here.
They featured Perri because she is a young preacher developing a considerable following the the metro area. The writer (Sheila Poole) expanded the feature to investigate what support there is for young preachers. Her research led her to our web site. So she called, and we talked, and she recorded, and she published. It is good publicity, to be sure, worth far more than we could pay. Who knows if it will be picked up by other papers?
Ms. Poole did mention our three preaching camps this summer, one of which is going to be covered (we are led to believe) by the New York Times. I am hopeful that young Perri will register to attend; but I know that Eric Vance will be at the Nashville camp. He is a 17-year-old preacher looking for just what we offer: recognition, encouragement, direction, and opportunity. He read about us in the paper, visited our web site, downloaded the camp registration form, and is in the process of sending it in.
Eric is a Lutheran, and I am glad of that because his tradition is one that was not represented among the 92 young preachers at the inaugural Festival of Young Preachers in January. That is largely because there are no Lutheran institutions (colleges, universities, seminaries) in our original target region (Louisville, and extending 150 miles in all directions).But we are expanding from coast to coast now and are happily engaging with Lutheran ministers throughout the nation.
I am eager to meet Eric and Perri and other young preachers in the Atlanta area. We are having a preaching camp there this summer; and it is a very real possibility that Atlanta will be a site of a festival of young preachers--and in the very near future!
Keep spreading the word: the Gospel word and the Academy word!