General CBF

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Festival of Young Preachers at Atlanta Assembly


By Erica Lea

Sixteen young preachers from 15 to 28 years old preached at the 2014 Academy of Preachers CBF Assembly Festival. The Academy of Preachers was founded by Dr. Dwight A. Moody in 2009. Moody was concerned about a large number of young people committed to ministry, but not preaching. The Academy of Preachers seeks to identify, network support, and inspire young people in their call to Gospel preaching. While Moody’s background is Baptist and he turned to his friends in CBF to help launch the Academy, the Academy of Preachers has an ecumenical vision.

Wyndee Holbrook, Academy of Preachers Director of Programs, says that “ecumenism is the body of Christ, and coming together around Gospel preaching brings great energy! We learn and grow best when we honor Jesus’ prayer for unity as found in John 17”.

This ecumenical vision related to preaching echoes new CBF Global Missions Coordinator Steven Porter’s missional vision of ecumenical partnership. Porter said during the Wednesday commissioning banquet, “We need not only to reimagine mission, but we also need to re-narrate the story of CBF’s participation in God’s mission that involves both… global church ministry networks and state and regional organizations; the Baptist World Alliance and ecumenical bodies…”

The Academy of Preachers has a number of regional festivals throughout the year that culminate with the national festival each January. National festivals have the most diverse ecumenical representation among young preachers – Baptist, Catholic, Orthodox, Disciples of Christ, Church of Christ, and more. Typically each young preacher preaches for about 15 minutes, then receives written and oral feedback from evaluators such as pastors and hermeneutics scholars.

Participants gather to sharpen their preaching skills, as well as to meet other young preachers from a variety of denominational backgrounds. Holbrook says “all Festivals focus on young people preaching with opportunity for small group discussion and encouragement.”

The 2015 National Festival of Young Preachers will be held in Dallas, Texas on January 2-5 and will be co-hosted by Highland Park United Methodist Church, Perkins School of Theology, and Holiday Inn Dallas Central- Park Cities. There will be a track for 14 – 28 year olds and a track for 29-35 year olds.

Holbrook says the next goal for the Academy is “to develop local and on-line Academy of Preachers chapters. We envision these will not be limited by age, simply by commitment to inspiring young people in gospel preaching”. Judging by the multiple standing room only CBF Assembly preaching festival sessions, interest in young preachers among CBF members and supporters is abundant.

Erica Lea is a CBF Scholar and a recent graduate of George W. Truett Theological Seminary where she focused on spiritual formation and pastoral leadership. She currently serves as Interim Pastor of Houston Mennonite Church and will begin as a Pastoral Resident at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. in August 2014. She also blogs at


One thought on “Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Festival of Young Preachers at Atlanta Assembly


    Can men be justified by keeping the Law of Moses? No. Can mankind have their sins forgiven by keeping the Law of Moses? No.

    Can men be saved by keeping the laws of denominations and factions? No.

    Acts 13:23-39 23….God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus…..38 Therefore let it be know to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. (NASB)
    Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(NASB)

    Jesus proclaimed forgiveness from sin (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved….)NASB. Do the Laws of denominations and factions void what Jesus has proclaimed? No, they do not.

    The Laws of denominations and factions say water baptism is not essential in order to be saved.

    The Laws of denominations and factions proclaim that men do not have the free-will to believe and be baptized in water. These Laws assert that men are saved by grace alone and that God predetermines which individuals will be saved.

    The Laws of denominations and factions state that saying a sinner’s prayer is essential in order to be saved.

    The Laws of denominations and faction proclaim that all men are born guilty of the first man Adam’s sin and therefore all infants must be sprinkled with water by so-called baptism in order to Adam’s sin washed away.

    Infants are not guilty of sin, period.

    Men are saved by faith plus obeying the New Covenant terms for pardon. Men are not saved by following the Laws of denominations and factions.

    FAITH PLUS OBEDIENCE EQUALS SALVATION. Faith: John 3:16 Confession Romans 10:9 Repentance Acts 2:38 Water Baptism 1 Peter 3:21

    No keeping of the Law of Moses can save anyone.
    No keeping of the Laws of denominations and factions can save anyone.


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