AoP Receives Lilly Grant

December 16, 2014

By Dwight Moody
IMG 9805 150x150 AoP Receives Lilly Grant

Dwight A. Moody


The Academy of Preachers has received a new grant from the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis. The grant of $798,000 covers three budget years, from 2014 through June of 2017.

This is the 4th grant received by the AoP. The first came in 2008 in partnership with St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville; the second and third came in 2010 and 2012 in collaboration with Middletown Christian Church, also in Louisville. This one comes directly to the Academy of Preachers, now fully organized, incorporated, and operating from the campus of Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington (150 East High Street, 40507).

The Lilly Endowment grant expresses their confidence in our mission, our programs, and our future. We are delighted to be in partnership with the Endowment; their standards of accountability and reporting are high and push us to be our best.

Grants constitute one of six revenue streams for the Academy of Preachers. Others are gifts from friends and patrons. Our donor base is small but growing and this will  need to increase as our dependence upon the Lilly Endowment decreases. We are in the midst of a donor drive now, seeking 92 donors who will give at least $5 a month through an automatic bank transfer. No fees are involved, and this is our best strategy for long term flourishing. See the SUPPORT page on this web site if you wish to participate.

Sales is a steady source of income. We sell sponsorships, exhibiting, and advertising for our regional and national festivals. We also sell books (especially our books of Festival sermons), AoP-theme apparel (hats, socks, shirts, etc), and our FESTIVAL IN A BOX (which is designed to help schools and denominations host a festival of young preachers).

We receive some income from fees we charge to attend some events or to manage events for others. And we have a small endowment from which we receive about $2,000 a year in interest. Our policy is to put 15% of all undesignated gifts into this quasi-endowment (cash reserve).

Finally, our newest income stream: Dues.  Beginning in January of 2015, we will begin receiving dues ($500) from the first 9 AoP chapters around the country and also from Young Preachers ($25), Professionals ($120), and Patrons ($240) who wish to become members of the Academy of Preachers. On January 2 we will unveil our new web site which will open up membership in the AoP to all who wish to support our mission to identify, network, support, and inspire young people in their call to gospel preaching.

Thank you for your support, your prayers, your interest, and your collaboration with us in this wonderful work. Pray for us as we gather in Dallas in two weeks–130 young preachers, our largest festival yet–and stay in touch throughout the year to follow our progress in this gospel work.



All set for Dallas

December 11, 2014

By Dwight Moody

MOody head shot 2014 150x150 All set for Dallas Three weeks from today I will land in Dallas, Texas, for the 2015 National Festival of Young Preachers.

At least 120 Young Preachers, 37 exhibitors, dozens of mentors, conveners, sermon evaluators, master teachers, and friends and family will swell the gathering to 400 people. It promises to be a wonderful four days in Dallas.

Among the things I am anticipating the most are:

Of course, the chief work of the Festival is the preaching: by the half dozen widely-known plenary preachers and, more importantly, the 120 Young Preachers who will come from all over the country to “take a text” as they say in some churches and declare the word of God–that’s when it really gets good, and hopeful, and transformational.

The chartered bus, The AoP Express, is filling up for its run from Lexington, through Louisville and Nashville, to Dallas.  The 2015 PREACHAPALOOZA magazine is under-going its final edit. The hotel invoice is being approved and paid. And I am making arrangements to share a meal with my old friends, all now living in Texas: Mary Alice Birdwhistell, associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Tom Wisdom, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Wichita Falls, and Bob Mong, editor of the Dallas Morning News.

Our preaching theme is TELL ME A STORY. I am sure, come the middle of January, I will have a whole batch of new stories to tell. And that is a good thing.

See you in Dallas for a story-making encounter with others who have discerned and embraced the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

giving tuesday

November 30, 2014

By Dwight Moody

TellMeAStoryBASEfile 150x150 giving tuesday qrcode1 150x150 giving tuesday


The 2015 National Festival of Young Preachers will convene in Dallas in one month. Are you registered?

Many of the key elements are in the final stages of development:

We need your help in these final days of preparation:


Giving is on my mind today.

Black Friday is historically the busiest shopping day of the year, Monday is known as Cyber Monday because it has been the heaviest on-line shopping day; but the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is the high volume giving day, especially on line and via social media. It is known as Giving Tuesday.

Will you make an on-line donation to the Academy of Preachers this week?

Our major donor effort this fall has been our QR92 campaign to secure 92 people who will give through a monthly back transfer of at least $5. This effort began last June and will continue until June of 2015.

Everyone who joins this effort will received a specially designed AoP medallion suitable for wearing, displaying, or decorating a Christmas tree. We want you to have one. Clink on the QR code on this page or visit our SUPPORT page to become a monthly donor for the AoP. You will be helping young preachers like Dexter Hedgepeth, who posted on my Facebook page from his home in New York:

“I am so excited about attending the 2015 National Festival of Young Preachers!!! I can’t wait to see you Dr. Moody and all of my other AOP Family! For the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to take 8 young people, from my church youth department through some of the training I’ve experienced at the National and Regional Festival of Young Preachers! I had the privilege to hear and evaluate their sermons. On the 5th Sunday of this month, 4 of them will speak at our 7:30am Morning Manna Service & 4 of them will speak at our 11:00am Morning Glory Service. I am confident that they will do extremely well, because they have be tutored, trained and developed by someone who has been inducted into the Academy of Preachers. Thank You, Dr. Moody & Rev. Holbrook for your vision of preaching mentorship. You have mentored me and now I mentor others.”



Ride The AoP Express to Dallas!

November 18, 2014

By Dwight Moody

AoPExpress 150x150 Ride The AoP Express to Dallas!A chartered bus dubbed The AoP Express will leave Lexington at 4pm on January 1 bound for the 2015 National Festival of Young Preachers in Dallas, Texas.

Any young preacher, mentor, volunteer, exhibitor, or friend of young preachers registered for the National Festival may ride the bus. Call 859-949-1000.

Cost for this round trip is only $50, payable when you step on the bus. The only other cost are two meals en route.

Pick up stops are scheduled for Louisville, Elizabethtown, and Bowling Green, all in Kentucky, and Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee. The complete schedule coming and going is below.

This will help all of our Kentucky and Tennessee friends get to Dallas in an affordable way, and it will allow this same cohort to present a warm COME TO KENTUCKY IN 2016 invitation to the entire Festival in Dallas.

Lv. from Calvary Baptist Church, Lexington 4:00 PM
Arrive Middletown, KY 5:15 PM
Lv. Middletown, KY 5:30 PM
Arrive Elizabethtown, KY 6:30 PM
Lv. Elizabethtown, KY 6:46 PM
Arrive Bowling Green, KY 7:00 PM
Lv. Bowling Green, KY 7:15 PM
Arrive Nashville, TN 8:15 PM
Lv. Nashville, TN 9:15 PM
Arrive Memphis, TN 12:15 AM
Lv. Memphis, TN 12:45 AM
Arrive Little Rock, AR 2:45 AM
Lv. Little Rock, AR 3:00 AM
Arrive Greenville TX 7:00 AM
Lv Greenville TX 8:00
Arrive Dallas Hotel 9:00 AM

Lv. Dallas, TX 2pm
Arrive Little Rock, AR 8pm
Lv. Little Rock, AR 8.15pm
Arrive Memphis, TN 10.30pm
Lv. Memphis, TN 10.45pm
Arrive Nashville, TN 1.45am
Lv. Nashville, TN 2am
Arrive Bowling Green, KY 3am
Lv. Bowling Green, KY 3.15am
Arrive Elizabethtown, KY 5.30am
Lv. Elizabethtown, KY 5.45am
Arrive Middletown, KY 6.45am
Lv. Middletown, KY 7.45am
Arrive Lexington, KY 9am


Master Classes at the Festival

November 13, 2014

By Wyndee Holbrook

Gregory Headshot 150x150 Master Classes at the FestivalDr Beecher 900 150x150 Master Classes at the FestivalMcKenzie 2012edit 150x150 Master Classes at the Festivalkena kwasi large mag 150x150 Master Classes at the Festival






The AoP is proud to present these extraordinary homileticians with great thanks to these sponsoring institutions: Perkins School of Theology, Truett Theological Seminary, Wesley Seminary (IWU) and Wesley Seminary (Washington, DC).

Alyce McKenzie
The Sermon as Story (Parts I and II)

The Sermon as Story: Part I
We will learn to approach texts with an eye for character, setting, dialogue and conflict. We’ll practice shaping our sermons so they have a narrative flow from conflict to complication to resolution.

The Scenes within the Story: Part II
We will explore how to shape our sermons as a sequence of scenes rather than a series of points. We’ll learn how scenes can be used to gain and maintain listener attention and to teach biblical and theological insights so engagingly that people don’t even realize until later how much they learned!

Alyce M. McKenzie, PhD, is Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology. Alyce was the 2012 President of the Academy of Homiletics. She currently serves as the Director of the newly formed Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence.

Kwasi Kena
What’s the Point? Sermon Focus and Function (Parts I and II)
Participants will learn helpful ways to craft a primary focus of the sermon to provide a clear, memorable message. Once assigned focus, the sermon needs a definite function or purpose. Using excerpts from sermons and the participants own sermons as teaching materials, participants will learn how good sermons guide listeners to the central message and encourage a practical response. At the conclusion of this class participants will know how to craft sermons that effectively answer the questions: Preach what? For what? So what?
Kwasi Kena, PhD, serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry, Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University. Kwasi is an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church and has served as pastor, denominational leader and missionary.

Hulitt Gloer
Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching (Friday)

Well read preachers are not merely in search of useful stories. Reading deepens the preacher. The preacher who presumes to speak for God, or even for the church, has to struggle every day to understand the surprising intersections of the human situation and the grace of God. The vicarious experience that arises from immersion in well-chosen literature is invaluable. We’ll explore some of the sources, methods, and homiletical impact of imaginative reading.
William Hulitt Gloer, PhD, serves as Professor of Preaching and Christian Scriptures, Truett Theological Seminary and Director of the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching. Hulitt has lovingly served in numerous pastorates.

Joel Gregory
IMAGE-IN (Monday)

Come and explore the need for, qualities of and examples of metaphor and lived experiences in sermon. The class will demonstrate how to narrate metaphors in the text extending them into “narraphors.” The student will learn how to move from image in text to lived experience or the reverse.

Joel C. Gregory, PhD, is the Professor of Preaching at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. He is also the President of Joel Gregory Ministries and founder and teacher at Proclaimers Place® seminars.

Kate Bringardner and Dwight Moody
Performance Coaching (Friday)

This Master Class combines the techniques of the actor and the strategies of the storyteller to enrich the practice and performance of the preacher. Led by a father-daughter team the Class will utilize movement, game, imagination, and memory to introduce fresh ways of transforming your life experiences into compelling platform stories. Following the Master Class, Moody and Bringardner will serve throughout the National Festival as sermon evaluators for those attending the class.

Kate Bringardner, MFA, is an experienced actor, model, coach, and keynote speaker. She is the Founder and Principal of The Speaker’s Studio in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dwight A. Moody, PhD, is an experienced author, pastor, professor, and social entrepreneur. He is the Founder and President of the Academy of Preachers in Lexington, Kentucky.

Beecher Hicks

Tell the Story again and again until the people embrace God’s truth and we experience heaven on earth. Sit under a true homiletic master to empower your preaching and change the world.

Beecher Hicks, PhD, has recently transitioned from 37 years as pastor of the acclaimed Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC to his new service as Homiletics Professor for Wesley Seminary. His extraordinary resume’ spans a career of calling generations to action via the power of proclamation.

AoP Monthly Support

AoP seeks 92 friends to launch monthly support for AoP via bank transfer. Use the QR code below:

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