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Waxahachie, Texas — November 12, 2013 — Five students from Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) participated in the Texas Festival of Young Preachers at Baylor University's Truett Seminary (Waco, Texas) on October 4-5. 

SAGU professor Dr. Jeff Magruder shared, "The SAGU students did very well and made a tremendous impression on the sermon evaluators and preaching professors and their fellow student preachers."

The festival was conducted by The Academy of Preachers to encourage young preachers to develop their gifts and be exposed to other young preachers and professors of preaching from other denominations. 

Dr. Magruder served as a convener and mentor for the festival. SAGU alumnus and The Potter's House Youth Pastor Drew Castillo was the keynote speaker. SAGU dorm pastor Preston Ulmer was a student preacher and sermon mentor. SAGU student preachers included Justin Rackley, Joshua Kettle, Garret Volz, Jeremy Cox, and Salvador Avila.

Volz shared, "This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. To hear different sermons preached from different denominational aspects was extremely profitable and help widen my Biblical perspective."

Salvador was awarded a scholarship to the National Festival for the Academy of Preachers in January. He said, "I had an incredible experience at the Academy of Preachers. Being in an environment of so much encouragement to young preachers helped me feel that I can preach God's word with excellence."

He continued, "I came back home motivated, encouraged, challenged, and with a deeper desire to be a communicator of the most important message in the world, the gospel."

Dr. Magruder added, "The Academy of Preachers affirms the distinctive voice of young Assemblies of God preachers and values the positive impact they have on their student peers."    

The Academy of Preachers seeks to identify, network, support and Inspire young people in their call to Gospel preaching. Since its launch in 2009, this ecumenical organization has worked with more than 300 young people from across the nation. The Academy of Preachers is energized by the conviction that Gospel preaching is a vocation of public and social significance, a calling worthy of our very best and brightest young people.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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