Baylor names top preachers

Baylor names top preachers

Tony Evans and Andy Stanley are among 12 pastors recognized by Baylor University in Waco, Texas, as 2017’s most effective preachers in the English-speaking world.

The dozen preachers who made the list of 11 men and one woman are academics, pastors and authors. They were chosen by scholars of homiletics, or the art of preaching, from a list of nearly 800 nominees.

“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,” said W. Hulitt Gloer, director of the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching at Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary.

“Words are the tools of the preacher and that gives them incredible power,” Gloer added.

Nominees were judged on how much their preaching matched criteria that included their selection of biblical texts, the relevance of their sermons and their ability to deliver them in language people can understand.

Baptists on the list

The list was released May 1. Baylor last produced such a survey in 1996. Four names appear on both lists: Thomas G. Long, emeritus preaching professor at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta and author of “The Witness of Preaching”; the late Haddon Robinson, former president at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston and author of “Biblical Preaching”; Charles Swindoll, pastor of Stonebriar Community Church, Frisco, Texas; and Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest, author and theologian who has served as a faculty member at institutions including Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta and who in 2014 was named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The other eight are, in alphabetical order: Alistair Begg, pastor of Parkside Church, Cleveland; Tony Evans, founding pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas; Joel C. Gregory of Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary and a member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Worship and Spirituality; Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City; Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago; John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis and leader of; Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church, Atlanta; Ralph Douglas West, founder and pastor of The Church Without Walls, Houston. (RNS)