During the course of a three-day weekend, June 25-27, 2010, the Academy of Preachers received donations totaling $57,000. Even we were surprised!
Most of the activity surrounded an event held in the home of Dan and Anne Greenwell. They serve on the Academy Support Team at Middletown Christian Church, which sponsored the event. Some 30 people attended this event and most made either a contribution or a pledge.
Included at the event were two young preachers, Alex Williams and Katie Beachy, both of whom spoke about their experiences at with the Academy (and the Festival of Young Preachers and the Preaching Camp). Also in attendance were Academy personnel, Lee Huckleberry (soon to be the Executive Director) and myself (Dwight A. Moody). Middletown pastor David Emery was also present.
The successful fund-raising weekend brings the total money raised during this Spring 2010 effort to more than $68,000, which exceeds our three-month goal of $50,000 and puts us a good way toward our 18-month goal of $200,000. And we still have two days remaining in June! Who knows what might happen in these two days.
The Academy raises money to underwrite our programs for young preachers: the festival of young preachers, our preaching camps, and the Young Preachers Leadership Team. Basic administrative and personnel costs of the Academy are covered, in these first years, through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment.
The second national Festival of Young Preachers will be held January 6-8, 2011, at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel and the adjacent Cathedral of the Assumption, both in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. All registration forms are elsewhere on this web site. Registrations are now being received for the conference and housing.
All gifts to the Academy are tax deductable through our hosting partnership with Middletown Christian Church. Donations can be sent to Academy of Preachers, 500 North Watterson Trail, Louisville, Kentucky 40243.
It was a good day for the Academy of Preachers. First, Katie McNeal wrote to say she would accept an invitation to join the Young Preachers Leadership Team. Katie attended last week's preaching camp in Crestwood, Kentucky.
"Going into the week, I really didn't know what to expect," she wrote. "What I experienced surpassed any expectations I had." What she experienced, of course, was the spiritual camaraderie of other young preachers who are looking past racial, theological, and denominational barriers to encourage each other as gospel preachers. Katie is a resident of Pittsburgh, a sophomore at Wittenburg College in Ohio, and active in a Lutheran (ELCA) congregation.
Second, the Academy received letters of endorsement from two new National Partners. Fabric of Life Coaching is the ministry of Danville, Kentucky pastor Tommy Valentine. "Having served as a coach at two of the Academy's preaching camps," he writes, "I have seen first hand the value of the Academy's mission and wholeheartedly support its work."
Baptist Women in Ministry of Atlanta, Georgia also writes a word of encouragement. Executive Director Pam Durso hopes "to attend [the National Festival of Young Preachers] in January and to have an exhibit and perhaps host a lunch for the Baptist women participants." She then lists five other ways they plan to partner with the Academy of Preachers.
Finally, the mail today brought two checks totaling $300. They came from a pastor in Pennsylvania and an educator in Glasgow, Kentucky. This pushes us past the $10,000 mark in our spring campaign to raise $50,000. Every little bit helps and we are glad to receive these two men as new donors to the Academy of Preachers.
We thank all of our growing network of supporters for every word of encouragement, every act of partnership, and every dollar invested in our mission to "identify, network, support, and inspire" young people in their calling to gospel preaching. God bless you all.
It might be a good time to share some news from our Young Preachers Leadership Team. Two women who rotated off the Team have celebrated major life milestones.
Kara Hildebrandt was ordained in December at the First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky (the church where she serves as associate pastor). Kara was also selected to represent the Academy of Preachers on the centennial planning committee of the National Council of Churches--youth initiative, called New Fire.
In February, Caela Simmons Wood gave birth to her firstborn, a son named Maitland. She posted a long introduction to the name on her Facebook page. Her pregnancy, in addition to her ordination to the gospel ministry under the auspices of the United Church of Christ, prevented her from attending the inaugural Festival of Young Preachers.
Word comes from Winterbourne Jones, of Washington DC and a senior at Fisk University that he has received the Presidential Scholarship offered to incoming students at Colgate Rochester Crosier Divinity School. It is the school, he writes, of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Howard Thurman.
Tanner White continues his students at Christ Church College of Oxford University, in Oxford, England, a commitment which also entailed his missing the inaugural Festival of Young Preachers. Brother Thomas Gricoski, a member of the Benedictine Abby of St. Meinrad in Indiana, will graduate in May from the seminary there and move to Belgium to pursue a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree in philosophy. (Sounds redundant, doesn't it?)
Jonathan Scott, a student at Oakland City University in Indiana, is the pastor of Francisco Church of the Nazarene and Scott Claybrook is on the ministerial staff of Northwest Baptist Church in Atlanta.
That's all the news I have (and some of that is not really news, as it happened last year!). But as I learn more about the 6 new members of the Leadership Team I will share that with you.
Six young preachers from 6 states have been selected for the Leadership Team. These join 10 remaining from the inaugural Leadership Team to constitute the 2010 Young Preachers Leadership Team.
John Jay Alvaro, a student at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina, and participates in the Gathering Church also in Durham. Willie Francois is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and now attends Harvard Divinity School in Boston. Both of these young men have spiritual and vocational roots in the Baptist tradition.
Adam Graham graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville and now attends Vanderbilt Divinity School also in Nashville. Krista Phillips hails from Louisville, Kentucky, attends Hanover College in Indiana, and is just beginning her search for a seminary. Adam comes from a Church of Christ background and Krista is a Presbyterian.
Daniel Rudy is a member of Glad Valley Church of the Brethren in Walkersville, Maryland, but attends Bethany Seminary in Richmond, Indiana. Darnell Tingle is associate pastor of the Wesley Center AME Zion Church in Pittsburgh, and attends United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
These six, all preachers at the inaugural Festival of Young Preachers in January, 2010, join 10 other young preachers from the 2009 Leadership Team to form the new network of ministers shaping the mission and programs of the Academy of Preachers. These 10 are: Tanner White (now a student at Oxford University), CJ Childs (Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville), Scott Claybrook (McAfee Divinity School in Atlanta), Steven Harris (Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville), JC Campbell (Georgetown College in Kentucky), Christian Smith (Northern Kentucky University), Alex Williams (a graduate of Cincinnati Christian University), Jonathan Scott (Oakland City University), and Winterbourne Jones and Brandon Perkins (both of Fisk University in Nashville).
The Young Preachers Leadership Team will convene for the second Preaching Camp, June 6-11, in Atlanta, Georgia. Their role is to represent the Academy on campus and in public, to prepare for and assist with the national Festival of Young Preachers in January, and to advise the Academy staff on the mission and programs of the Academy.
The Academy may adjust the membership of the Leadership Team as needs demand. Those interested in serving on the 2011 Leadership Team may complete an application which will be posted on the Academy web site in early fall. Leadership Team members may serve up to 3 years.