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Presnell Honored as Semi-Finalist in National Competition

Austin Presnell, a Huntington University student, was honored as a semi-finalist for the Next Gen Preacher Search. Presnell, a sophomore youth ministries major from Indianapolis, Indiana, was one of 40 finalists from across the country.

Started through the North American Christian Convention (NACC), the Next Gen Preacher Search is a competition for high school juniors and seniors as well as college students who are interested in preaching and teaching. Students filmed a five-minute video of their speaking for critique and review. The 127 videos submitted were evaluated in four areas: content, creativity, clarity and passion. The number of sermon video views on YouTube also was taken into account.

From there, videos were viewed by a panel of experienced preachers for feedback and coaching. The 40 semi-finalists went through a training workshop at their choice of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, or Johnson University in Kissimmee, Florida.

“Because I was a semi-finalist, I had the incredible opportunity to go to Pepperdine for the training workshop and meet incredible people, expand my network, learn so much about preaching and grow as a preacher, individual and as a disciple of Christ,” Presnell said. “[It was] one of the best experiences of my life.”

Each semi-finalist filmed a six-minute devotional that they worked on throughout the workshop.

Four of the 40 selected students were chosen as finalists to present their lesson before more than 25,000 Christians at conferences and lectures around the country. While Presnell was not selected as a finalist, he still values his participation in the competition.

“The experience was incredible, and I feel so blessed,” Presnell said.

Check out Presnell’s final submission video.