George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University recently named the twelve most effective preachers in “the English-speaking world.” They compiled the list through a survey conducted by the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching, which is housed at the Seminary. They surveyed homiletics (preaching) professors and scholars through their email list, the Evangelical Homiletics Society, and the American Academy of Homiletics.
According to the survey, these are the most effective preachers in America:
- Dr. Alistair Begg, senior pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Dr. Tony Evans, founding pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas.
- Dr. Joel Gregory, holder of the George W. Truett Endowed Chair of Preaching and Evangelism at the George W. Truett Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
- Dr. Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York.
- Dr. Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching and Director of the Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Dr. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.
- Dr. John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis Minnesota.
- The late Dr. Haddon Robinson, the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. (Dr. Robinson passed away while the survey was being conducted.)
- Pastor Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church, Buckhead Church, Browns Bridge Church, Gwinnett Church, Woodstock City Church, and Decatur City Church.
- Dr. Charles Swindoll, pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher.
- Dr. Babara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest, professor, author, and theologian.
- Dr. Ralph Douglas West, founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas.
These twelve were selected out of over one thousand nominees according to seven criteria: biblical and exegetical skills, relevance, personal life of the preacher, theological orthodoxy, sermon form, effectiveness of communication, and sermon delivery.
This was the first time the Seminary released this survey since 1996. That survey also included Brown, Long, Robinson, and Swindoll.
In announcing the results of the survey, Hulitt Gloer, professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett Seminary and director of the Kyle Lake Center, explained the reasoning behind the survey. He said they want to examine factors that lead to changes in preaching and in the way schools teach preaching. In understanding this, both teachers of preaching and preaching can become more effective in this important skill.
Gloer told the assembled audience, “In a world where talk is cheap and there seems to be no end to it, the preacher has to recover the priority and power of the word.”
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Publication date: May 3, 2018