Brent Dyer (2020)
From the time I was about 10 I have known that preaching was for me. God has blessed me with an ability to remember things well and a love for public speaking that slowly moved my interest level from wanting to occasionally fill-in to a desire to be a full-time evangelist. The one thing that convinced me more than anything, though, was my passion for Bible study. I love to read the stories. I love to see the way the laws impacted the actions and thoughts of the characters. I love to see the timelessness of the prophet’s cry for social justice or the proverbs that still ring so true. I love to read of the glorious victory that God will win over all the forces of darkness, but most of all, I love Jesus. I love how strange his methods are sometimes, and I love the awesome mic-drop-moments of His parables and arguments. I love the way He cares for the people that no one else notices, and I love the way He shows absolute humility and submission, despite being God Himself.

When I came here, I knew what kind of preacher I wanted to be: the guy who makes people think and helps others to catch the fire I have for the less-well-loved pages of the Scriptures. In the first few months here, I have learned so much about how to make that goal become a reality. I have seen first-hand the way Jacob challenges the congregation not just to spiritual growth, but to deeper Bible study and more critical thinking about the assumptions that have gone unquestioned for so long. I have been equipped in delightful and unexpected ways to take my knowledge and passion and share it with others while fueling my own fire for God and His Word. This, I am sure, will continue as long as I am here and beyond as I enter the world to do what I am now preparing for-preaching The Word.

Zack HowardZack Howard (2017-19)
As a college student, I was asked to preach for the first time in my freshman year. It was from there that I realized my love for spreading the gospel. During my time at Florida College I tried to take in as much as I could from my Bible courses, all while I connected the biblical events to other historical events, because of my main course of study. In my four years at Florida College I focused on history, because I felt I wanted to teach early on in my college career. However, as the years went on and I came closer to finishing up, I realized what it was I truly wanted to do, which was preach.

In my senior year, I was privileged to intern at the congregation I had been attending for 3 years. It was an exciting opportunity for me, and it opened my eyes to the different aspects of preaching. Because of those different aspects of preaching, I realized I needed to grow and learn as much as I could about them, and so I looked for more intensive and inclusive internship.

One of my favorite things about preaching is the studying I have to do to present a lesson from God’s word. There is always something new and interesting to learn from the Bible, and when I learn of them I try to share them as often as possible. I am excited and thankful for this opportunity with the brethren at Fairview Park, and I am thankful God has blessed me with the chance to work with them.

Zach Birkner (2015-16)
My only regret in regards to the training program at Fairview Park was that I couldn’t stay longer. zach birknerFrom the moment I got there I had the opportunity to hit the ground running preaching, teaching, and growing in Christ. I was very impressed with the leadership of the congregation who fully supported me in every way, as my wife and I moved in from out of state, to work with a group of people we didn’t really know. The main reason I wanted to come to this group was all the good things I heard about the members of the congregation, and they didn’t disappoint. We found out first hand, that they are a strong group of dedicated servants for the Lord. They went above, and beyond to make us feel welcomed, and to help me to grow as a preacher.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this program prepared me for full time preaching work. I was able to preach and teach every week, and able to work on my lesson development. I loved having opportunities to have bible studies outside of worship services with members of all ages young and old. The people took us under their wing, and made us one of their own. We bonded together quickly, and it was very difficult to leave those who were a constant encouragement to me and my wife. They picked me up when I was down, and gave me the strength to face the challenges of life. Even through frustration I always knew the congregation had my best interest at heart, and always felt encouraged by them. The example set by others inspired me to be a better Christian, and to stick to the good work of God.

As my time was winding down, we found out my wife was pregnant. It was wonderful news, but that meant it was time to move on. Even though I wished I could stay longer to continue to grow and improve, I felt confident that all the experience I had prepared me for the difficulties ahead. Jacob, the Elders, and the congregation provided me with all the opportunities, and tools I needed to develop and grow, both as a preacher, and as a man. I was saddened to go, but grateful for all they had done for me. They definitely prepared me to do what I came there to learn to do, and for that I will always be thankful.

Nick Angel (2013-14)
No amount of study or learning can quite beat on the job training, and that is exactly what I experienced during myNick Angel time working with the Fairview Park Church of Christ as their preacher intern. It became apparent very early on that working with a church as a preacher and teacher consisted of much more than just presenting two lessons from the pulpit every week or teaching a Bible Class. Establishing relationships, serving others, and seeking the lost are just a few of the weekly responsibilities of the position, and I was able to get a glimpse of that first hand.

One of the best things about being able to begin your work preaching and teaching is being able to do so in a controlled environment where you have much more experienced men around you who are able to walk with you along the way and help you learn how to deal with certain situations or struggles that exist within the work of a preacher. I was exposed to many different situations that will help me to know how to deal with such when I face them at other congregations I might be working with.

Another great blessing of this specific program is the location. Being in Little Rock allows you to be very close to many strong and thriving congregations of the Lord’s people. Many friendships were established, during my time in Little Rock, that have continued to be such blessings in my work. The opportunity to go and preach at other area congregations allowed me to network with other preachers and brethren, which has continued to prove to be invaluable. I wouldn’t trade my time in Little Rock for this one reason alone.

Far too few churches are willing to put in the time effort in order to help train preachers and teachers, and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the shepherds, deacons, and preachers of Fairview Park who desire to “entrust these (things) to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2). I am thankful for my time with this program, and I hope that God is glorified in everything that has come from it.

Jeremy Crump (2011-12)
I would heartily recommend the evangelist training program at Fairview Park to any young man desiring firsthand Jeremy Crump2experience preaching the gospel. During my time there, I was given ample opportunity to