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Waxahachie, Texas – November–, 2015 An original sermon written by Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) senior Salvador Avila was featured in Dr. Dwight A. Moody ‘s new book entitled, “Nine Marks of a Good Sermon.” The book reveals the nine qualities of a good sermon: idea, need, scripture, metaphor, question, story, passion, appeal and Jesus.

Founder and President of the Academy of Preachers (AoP) Dr. Dwight A. Moody said, “Salvador Avila stands at the top of the ladder of Young Preachers. His charisma, commitment, and talent have been apparent from the beginning.”

This book is written as a guide for young preachers to help them prepare messages that encompass the qualities of a good sermon. The book provides examples from young preachers who have spoken at the National Festivals of Young Preachers. It has been developed as Dr. Moody learned from teaching young men and women in college classes on the topic of preaching.

Avila says, “I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to contribute to Dr. Dwight Moody’s book. I would like to thank Dr. Jeff Magruder, my Gamaliel in preaching, and who encouraged me to participate in the AoP. It is because of his training and instruction in preaching that I have part in this book.”

Avila preached at the 2014 AoP National Festival of Young Preachers, in Indianapolis, Indiana, on the theme of “Questions of the soul.”

Avila’s sermon was titled, ‘What is that in your hand?’ and he spoke from Exodus 4:2 on using the gifts and abilities that you already have to make a difference in the world.  Dr. Moody explained, “Salvador’s (Avila) sermon in In dianapolis attracted me at once because its title arises from a biblical narrative that was so powerful in shaping my own call to preaching. Besides repeating the question of, ‘What is that in your hand?’ several times in his sermon, he asks another seven questions that perfectly illustrates three ways to use one of the Nine Marks of a Good Sermon: the question as text, as title, and as appeal.”

He explains, “I selected Salvador’s sermon for the book in hopes that it would encourage all young preachers with the rhetorical and spiritual power of the question. I hope it also inspires Salvador to cultivate all of his God-given gifts for the gospel work to which he has been called.”

Avila added, “I’ve enjoyed participating at every AoP festival. Every time I go I come out inspired and encouraged to continue in my call to preach, as well as challenged, after hearing all the gifted young preachers, to keep improving as a communicator of God’s Word. Every young preacher should consider participating in an AoP festival.”

Avila returned to the National Festival in 2015 to preach his sermon titled, “A God who finds us” from Genesis 16:7-8.

Avila began ministering as a volunteer administrative and young adults pastor in a Hispanic/English church called Ministerios La Familia in August 2012 in his hometown of Arlington, Texas. In December 2014, he was named the pastor of ministries for Misterios La Familia and currently serves as a residential assistant for Teeter Hall.

Until last summer, through church programs, Avila traveled once a month to San Antonio, Texas , where he ministered and discipled young adults by holding a two hour discipleship session after preaching at the worship service. During that time, he also ministered in Fort Worth, Texas , by teaching at a Small Group that later became a church plant.

Avila grew up in Apatzingan, Michoacan, Mexico, and played soccer for Academia del Atlas. In 2010, he was chosen as a top player in the country in the U18 age bracket by Alianza de Futbol and joined 18 other selected players to train with Cruz Azul for three months. After his trial, he was offered a professional contract with Cruz Azul, but felt God wanted him to go to the United States to pursue an education.

Upon arrival at SAGU his original intention was to play soccer and study business administration, but he was impacted greatly by the environment and answered his call to ministry. He played an important role during SAGU men’s soccer’s 2011-12 Regional Championship season and received the Champion of Character award for the SAGU men’s soccer team during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

Due to his consistent positive example, Avila was given the title of “Team Chaplain” during his last two seasons and regularly hosted Bible studies and prayer meetings, and offered spiritual guidance to players and recruits.

Avila graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and an associate degree in General Business in Fall 2016.

About SAGU:

Southwestern Assemblies of God University 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, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU

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