We welcome to the Festival of Young Preachers our 16th registrant, Michael Dellig. Hurrah for you, Michael, and we are eager to meet you!
Michael’s story begins in Richmond, Indiana.
A few weeks ago I traveled there to speak with students and professors at the Bethany Theological Seminary. They were so gracious and receptive; I wrote about the experience in a column shortly after it happened. At the conclusion of the class, a student who had heard my presentation called his friend in Pennsylvania, a pastor named Brandon Grady.
About three weeks ago, at 9am on a Saturday morning, Brandon called me. “I have a young man who is preparing for a vocation as a preacher,” he said. “I want to bring him to the Festival in January.”
It was good news to me, of course, and I explained the process. Then Brandon asked: “What is the age range for this Festival for Young Preachers?” Sixteen to twenty-eight years of age, I replied. “That means I am eligible,” he said. Then find a mentor and sign up, I replied. There was a short silence, then he asked: “Does it make any difference that I am blind?” No sir, I said. And a week later Brandon called back and promised to send in two registrations!!
One came in, and while we are waiting on the second, I took an inquiry from Tampa. A young man, a junior at the University of Tampa and an intern at the First Presbyterian Church of Tampa, said to me: “I stumbled upon your web site this morning. Can you tell me about the Festival?”
Again, it was music to my ears and I suspect before the month is out we will receive a Festival registration from this young man from Florida. Did I tell you he just won the Outstanding Student in Speech and Communication award? I will tell you more about him when he completes his paperwork. But I write this much to describe how the Festival, initially conceived and designed as a regional pilot project, is attracting young preachers from all parts of the United States.
Who will be Young Preacher number 17?