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The Academy of Preachers is a fresh initiative launched in 2009 that seeks to Identify, Network, Inspire and Support young people in their call to gospel preaching.  Read more about mission below.

The organization is headquartered at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, but functions in an independent, incorporated status, with our own federal tax-exempt certification, led by a Board of Directors. Our current Directors include John Williams (Owensboro, Ky.), Deena Kuhl (Louisville, Ky.), Dwight A. Moody (Lexington, Ky.), Conway Stone (Louisville, Ky.), Amos Jones (Washington, D.C.), and Darlene Hutto (Atlanta, Ga.).

The Academy is endorsed and supported by 50 Founding Partners: those businesses, denominations, institutions, and organizations who affiliated with the Academy during its first 18 months of operation. Chief among these is the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis, Ind.  For a list of our Founding Partners, click here.  For more about our history, click here.

Beginning in January of 2015, the Academy of Preachers invites interested people and organizations to join the AoP: as a Young Preacher ($25/year), Ministry Professional ($100/year), or iPartner (Institutional Partner) ($500).  See the Membership page on this website for further details and a complete and up-to-date list of all AoP members.

A team of five staff oversees the daily operations and execution of programs for the Academy of Preachers; they are supported and advised by various contractors and consultants.

Our Team
  • Ernest A. Brooks III
    The Reverend Ernest Andrew Brooks III assumed office as President and CEO of the Academy of Preachers, Inc. on July 1, 2017.  An ordained Baptist minister, Ernest previously served as Senior Pastor of the Mount Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Williamston, North Carolina and Assistant Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse...
  • Debbie Moody
    Director of Festivals
  • Tyler Best
    Director of Communications
  • Susan Scott
  • Nick Bettis
    Office Assistant
Our Mission

Our Young Preachers are generally high school, college, university and seminary students, usually between the ages of 14 and 35; in addition, we welcome Young Preachers who are between schools or who have completed their education. The Academy of Preachers is no gatekeeper into Gospel preaching; we do not decide who is—or who is not—called to preach. We encourage each Young Preacher to examine his or her own heart and assess his or her individual calling. We welcome all who come testifying to a vocation as a preacher of the Gospel of God.

The Academy does not seek to influence the political, theological or denominational interests of Young Preachers. Our door is open to all denominations, genders and races: Young Preachers from Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Protestant, and Pentecostal traditions have been involved in our Festivals. This broad affirmation of Young Preachers allows us to host events that enrich their lives and ministries as they mix and mingle. God is in the midst of it all—and we work for the Glory of God and the Common Good.

The Academy recognizes Gospel preaching as a vocation of significant social significance. It is crucial for the transformation of individuals, congregations, communities, even nations. We seek to instill and sustain this sense of divine purpose and social significance in the minds of young people who sense a call to Gospel preaching. We inspire them with their potential to make a difference in the world.

The Academy of Preachers is the only organization of its kind. We offer guidance, direction, and professional accountability to Young Preachers through the National Festival of Young Preachers as well as Regional and Campus Festivals. We also encourage Young Preachers to seek the guidance and wisdom of a mentor and to partner together with a supporting congregation in their denomination. In all of these ways, our aim is to help Young Preachers reach their full potential and help institutions and agencies fulfill their Christian mission.

The Academy of Preachers is often described as wet clay on a potter’s wheel; it is still in the process of formation, and we are seeking partners (businesses, denominations, institutions and organizations) to join us in this noble and necessary work. We welcome the collaboration with any and all who value the gifts and callings of young people and who aspire to join with them in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Upcoming Events
  1. AoP Day

    June 23
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