Though it may not be widely publicized, Belmont has a thriving community for students wishing to pursue ministry. On Wednesday April 20, that community will have the chance to connect with the greater Belmont community through the convocation event “An Attempt to Silence the Lamb.”
Started by Belmont student Andre’ Waller and classmate Terrell Crudup three years ago, the service seeks not only to provide a forum for college students to preach for an audience, but also to share the African American worship experience with all who would like to learn.
“We have a lot of singing, but the real focus is on preaching,” Waller said. “We wanted to bring that experience to Belmont’s campus.”
The event will be led by seven student preachers (some ministers, some pursuing ministerial licenses), with each focusing on a different message from the seven last sayings of Christ. Each speaker has ten minutes to address the audience.
“If one of us can’t reach you, another will,” Waller continued.
Waller makes clear, though, that the group’s ensemble preaching style is exactly that—the seven speakers have become friends through the event and feel a unified duty to spread a message rather than a need to compete with one another.
Participating students are Jeremy Williams (Vanderbilt University), Brandon Perkins (Trevecca Nazerene University), Cheryl Moultry (Belmont University), Andre’ Waller (Belmont University), Justin Cunningham (American Baptist College), Ebony Weems (Meharry Medical College) and Jaymes Mooney (Trevecca Nazarene University).
Reverend Cheryl Moultry, also a Belmont student, hopes the group can use its positive effect on one another to move the community, as well.
“I feel like the momma of the bunch because I am the oldest minister involved,” Moultry said, laughing. “But I know that these young ministers will add to me a new insight on their generation.”
Moultry became involved with the event when she met Waller at Belmont.
“When I first met him he just told me I was going to do this. I believe that it was appointed by God, so I was willing to get involved with anything to see God’s people refreshed by the word. I have never been involved in a program such as this, and I am looking forward to participating,” Moultry explained.
Thanks to the hard work of Waller and Crudup, who Waller proclaims are “preaching partners and thick as thieves,” the event has grown from one hundred attendees its first year to a predicted turnout of over four hundred for this year’s ceremony. Support from University Ministries and the Black Student Association has also bolstered the event’s success.
This year’s event will also feature a clothing drive for the Storehouse at Eden’s Gate Ministries, a Nashville-based “community of faith,” an addition to the program Waller was particularly excited about. Attendees can bring new or gently used clothing items for donation at the door.
The two-hour service will take place at 7 p.m. at Belmont Heights Baptist Church. Faith and Development convocation will be offered.