FCPC Reschedules Will Willimon for January

William Willimon, one of America’s most engaging guides for how to talk Christian, will be the speaker for the Festival of Faith now scheduled for Jan. 8-9, 2023, at First Central Presbyterian Church.

The Festival of Fath had to be rescheduled from an earlier date due to a conflict. The public is invited to the free lectures and worship, said Cliff Stewart, pastor of FCPC.

“The church considers this series not only to be of spiritual encouragement to Presbyterians but a gift to the entire community,” he said.

Dr. Will Willimon

The schedule follows:

Sunday, January 8
Worship at 8:30 and 11 a.m.
7 p.m. session with Willimon

Monday, January 9
11:45–1 p.m. Presentation in Fellowship Hall with lunch ($5 for lunch)
1 p.m.–Session with pastors, professors, etc.
7 p.m.–Session with Willimon

Willimon is the latest in a long series of speakers for the Festival of Faith, which began at First Central Presbyterian Church about 40 years ago. Over the years First Central has  hosted speakers such as:  Craig Barnes, Ken Bailey, Earl Palmer, Jeb Stuart Magruder, Lloyd Ogilvie, Ben Witherington, Bill Carl, Cindy Rigby, Ted Wardlaw, Jason Byasse, James Forbes, Peter Marshall Jr.

Willimon is the author of over 80 books. Currently he is Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School. He has served as a Bishop in the United Methodist Church in the North Alabama Conference. 

A Pew research survey determined that Willimon is one of the two most frequently read writers by pastors in mainline Protestantism.  He is considered by many as one of America’s best-known and most influential preachers.

The following comment is from Willimon.

“Preachers take criticism more seriously than praise, knowing that Jesus may have put denigrators up to it. Just when I think I’ve finally mastered the arts of ministry, the Lord forces me to hear sermon response that sends me back to the little league. While I was awaiting the procession into a Chicago ballroom at the convention of the Evangelical Covenant Church, a woman rushed up and said, ‘I’ve driven all the way from Dubuque to hear you. I love everything you write.’ All the way from Dubuque? As the orchestra pounced on the processional hymn, even my inflated ego managed to swell. All the way from Dubuque? resounded in my soul. I preached, they sang, we recessed into the lobby. The same person came up, deflated, and said, ‘You aren’t Frederick Buechner!'”— Accidental Preacher: A Memoir

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