The Indiana Conference hosted fourteen young preachers for the Third Annual Indiana United Methodist Conference Festival of Young Preachers Thursday morning. Participants of the festival ranged from the ages of 13-28 with aspirations to become preachers of the Word.

This year’s theme coincided with the overall theme of Indiana Annual Conference – Share Your Story. Each young preacher chose a passage from a selection offered by the Academy of Preachers (AoP). The AoP developed the Festival of Young Preachers to encourage and aspire young people to explore their callings as Gospel preachers. Each year, AoP develops a new theme and a list of passages so young preachers can continue to explore their call to preaching at AoP events across the nation.

After a morning filled with young preachers sharing the stories placed on their hearts, individuals gathered for the Eat, Preach & Praise Luncheon to celebrate the emerging young preachers within the Indiana Conference.  While enjoying a meal, the attendees heard sermons from young preachers Hannah Wehymeyer, Conner Guerzini, and Jenn Meadows.

Second-time attendee Julia Pricket attends the Young Preachers Festival because it “has helped me to grow as a public speaker as well as grow in confidence in speaking the Word of God.” Pricket will be attending Duke Divinity in the fall.

Jenn Meadows has participated in the Indiana Conference of Young Preachers Festival all three years. Meadows credits her participation in the festival in helping develop and grow into her preaching style. “I am very thankful that the Indiana Conference supporting this event. It is very encouraging and inspiring to witness my peers preaching for the first time and continuing to grow with each festival.”

On July 16-17, there will be a national Young Preachers Festival for young adult United Methodists at the Church of the Resurrection. Any young adult interested in attending should visit youngpreachingfestival.org.