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Cumberlands Student Participates in Festival of Young Preachers


Williamsburg, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands senior Donte Paul recently attended the 2012 National Festival of Young Preachers in Louisville at the Selbach Hotel. The festival is “an event designed to showcase and encourage young people who aspire to be preachers of the Gospel,” notes the festival website, found at

According to news releases posted on the website, 125 preachers ranging in age from 14 years to the 20’s participated in the event. Thirty denominations and various ethnicities were represented at the event designed to reach people with one shared calling: to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One young preacher who attended and was quoted in an Academy of Preachers’ article said “It made me appreciate the diversity that exists in the Kingdom of God.”

Paul was at First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Ky. for a Sunday morning service when he found out about the event. “I wanted to go to the festival for exposure to different denominations and so that I could gain experience by learning from the various styles of preaching,” he said.

The event lasted for four days and provided each young preacher the chance to preach in front of their peers. When it was his turn, Paul spoke on Matthew 5:13 and titled his sermon “Don’t Lose your Flavor.”

Paul credits UC for helping him with his preaching skills. “Preaching isn’t just a gift, but it is an art,” he said. “Cumberlands helped cultivate my gifts and talents which will prepare me for life after college.”

Although Paul has been in training for the ministry for several years now, his festival experience was meaningful.

“For me the festival changed my life,” he said. “My ministry was changed and I met a lot of people that will be lifelong friends.”

Paul is a native of Cave City, Ky. and will complete his double major in exercise and sports science and public health in May.

While at UC he has played on the Patriots football team, served with the UC mentoring program, been a STAR for freshmen Insights classes and a Family Group Leader for Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM).

He is also an Associate Minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Edmonton, Ky.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.