Across the Church there is a revival of preaching.  Young men and women, in every denomination, are rediscovering their call to proclaim the Gospel. In fact, we think that many of today’s preachers have the potential to be among the best in the history of the Church.  But their talent must be matched by an unwavering commitment to root themselves in discipline and in virtue, and to root their ministry in the Word of God. So this year, College Church in partnership with Wesley Seminary invite you to The Festival on Preaching, which will focus on the art of preaching in exile because we believe the culture, is changing, making it difficult for many preachers to be heard.  Some are trying to say the same things differently, but perhaps it’s time to say different things.


May 22

6:30pm Registration

7:00pm “What Time is it?” – Rev. Steve DeNeff

8:15pm “Shift in the Culture: Preaching in Exile” (Panel Discussion) – Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Rev. Tom Cochran, Rev. Zach Szmara, Dr. Aaron Perry, Rev. Carson Adams and Rev. Alex Huskey

May 23

8:00am “What is the Gospel?” – Dr. Dave Ward

8:45am  “Finding Themes of Exile in the Word” – Dr. Ken Schenck

10:00am “Preaching on Hard Topics” – Dr. Dave Ward

11:00am “Branding Holiness for an Emerging Generation” – Rev. Matthew Beck

1:15pm “Habits for Developing Holiness Sermons” – Dr. Aaron Perry

2:00pm  “Preaching with Empathy in an Age of Apathy” – Dr. Lenny Luchetti

3:00pm  “On the Same Page (all-church campaign) – Rev. Emily Vermilya

4:00pm  “3 Stages of Exile” – Rev. Steve DeNeff


Rev. Steve DeNeff

Rev. Steve DeNeff currently serves as Senior Pastor of College Wesleyan Church in Marion, IN.  College Church partners with community leaders to reverse the spiritual, economic and educational gears that contribute to poverty.

Dr. Lenny Luchetti

Dr. Lenny Luchetti presently serves as Associate Professor of Proclamation and Christian Ministries at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University. He is responsible primarily for the development and teaching of the preaching courses the seminary offers.

Dr. David Ward

Dr. David Ward is the Associate Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dave has also ministered as a local church pastor, itinerant preacher, academic dean, and preaching coach.

Dr. Aaron Perry

Dr. Aaron Perry is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Christian Ministry at Wesley Seminary. Aaron has over 10 years of pastoral ministry experience for the Wesleyan Church in Central New York and Central Canada Districts.

Dr. Ken Schenck

Dr.Ken Schenck is the Interim Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). When he is not “deaning,” he is a professor of New Testament, having served now at IWU for twenty years.

Rev. Emily Vermilya

Rev. Emily Vermilya is the Executive Pastor at College Church where she has served for the past 10 years. Additionally, Emily is a professor of Graduate Worship Studies at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, FL.

Rev. Matthew Beck

Matthew Beck is the Family Ministries Pastor at College Wesleyan Church. He is an Indiana Wesleyan University grad and a current Wesley Seminary masters student.

Rev. Carison L. Adams

Rev. Carison L. Adams is the Senior Pastor of St Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Marion, Indiana. He has over 32 years of Pastoral Experience. His educational training includes degrees from Bishop College, Brite Divinity Schooland Grace Theological Seminary in Pastoral Ministry.

Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Dr. Lyon serves on the board of directors of many organizations as representative of The Wesleyan Church including the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee, Christian Community Development Association, and Council on Faith of the World Economic Forum.

Rev. Tom Cochran

Rev. Tom Cochran brings over 14 years of full time preaching experience into his current position as Lead Pastor of Expansion Church in Chesterton, IN. Within his current context, he created a training program for young preachers (high school and college students) to develop their voice and the habits of effective communication.

Rev. Zach Szmara

Rev. Zach Szmara serves as the pastor of The Bridge Community Church in Logansport, Indiana. He has seen firsthand how God can take a mono-cultural, declining church that was near closing its doors and transform it into a growing, dynamic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual church that has impacted her city, her region, and the nation for Jesus.  Zach also serves as the National Director of Immigrant Connection for The Wesleyan Church and looks forward to continuing to partner with Wesleyans as they holistically love immigrants within their churches and communities.

Rev. Alex Huskey

Rev. Alex Huskey’s career includes employment with the Marion Police Department. He also served in the United States Air Force as a non-commissioned officer in charge of behavioral sciences.  He is an ordained minister and pastor for New Bethany Church of God in Christ in Marion, IN.


Hampton Inn (4.7 miles)

1502 N. Baldwin Ave
Marion IN, 46952
p. 765-662-6656

Comfort Suites (4.7 miles)

1345 N. Baldwin Ave
Marion, IN, 46952
p. 765-651-1006

Super 8 (7.8 miles)

5172 Kaybee Dr.
Gas City, IN 46953
p. 844-209-6554

Best Western (7.8 miles)

4936 Kay Bee Drive
Gas City, Indiana 46933
p. 1(800) 780-7234

Festival on Preaching | May 22-23 | $40 | College Wesleyan Church

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