JANUARY 10, 2013


Four years in a row young preachers from the Orthodox tradition have made their way to the National Festival of Young Preachers.  This year four came, accompanied by Dr. Sergius Halvorsen, Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York. This is his third festival, and he was accompanied by two of his students, James Parnell, AoP ’13, and Harrison Russin, AoP ’13.

In addition, Andrew Boyd, AoP ’13. a recent graduate of the school and now Chairperson of the Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry for the Orthodox Church in America, came to preach. As soon as he returned home, Andrew published on the front page of the OCA web page an article with pictures about their experience in Atlanta at the Festival: “OCA Represented at Festival of Young Preachers.”  A second article, written by one of the young preachers, was posted today; read it here.  Both are  very good article and worth reading.

Last year, Sergius and Andrew took inspiration from the GOSPEL SLAM initiative of the AoP and created theOCA YouTube Challenge, calling upon young Orthodox Christians around the country to write, record on video, and submit their testimony in response to a particular question. The winner of that competition was Anna Vander Wall, AoP ’13, of Trinidad, Colorado, and her award was an all-expense-paid trip to the 2013 National Festival of Young Preachers. So she came to Atlanta; she came to preach a sermon on our theme (GOSPEL AND THE CITY) but also to participate in the first national GOSPEL SLAM (see the pictures on our Facebook page).

In February, after finishing post-production work on all the sermon and GOSPEL SLAM videos, the Academy of Preachers will upload them to our YouTube channel. We anticipate they will be very popular. To date, AoP sermon videos have been downloaded 150,696 times!

We anticipate that St. Vladimir’s Seminary and the Orthodox Church in America, both located in New York, will be very active in AoP events, including the New York Regional Festival of Young Preachers, scheduled for September 27-28, 2013, sponsored by the Lord’s Day Alliance and hosted by Union Seminary in New York City.

The mission and programs of the Academy of Preachers is made more interesting and successful by the enthusiastic participation of young preachers of the Orthodox Church in America! God bless them all!