Preaching Consultation





All those registered will receive an email on Wednesday, September 30 with a zoom link and password. This is how you will join the event on the morning of Thursday, October 1, 2020. The link will remain open through the entirety of the event.


9:00 – Zoom link open for those who want to join for fellowship

9:30 – Welcome | Announcements | Housekeeping

9:45 – Maximizing Current Resources  | Chelsea Waite, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia

10:00 – Even the (Grave) Stones Will Cry Out: Preaching and Pastoring at Funerals in a Post-COVID World  | Darian Duckworth, First United Methodist Church West Point, Mississippi

10:15 – Q & A for Presenters 1 and 2

10:30 – Paschal Mystery As a Pathway to Post-Pandemic Preaching | Shaun King, Johns Creek Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia

10:45 – What is Your Value Proposition? | Kristian Smith; The Faith Community, Atlanta, Georgia

11:00 – Q & A for Presenters 3 and 4

11:15 – Live Full Panel Discussion

12:00 –  Final Announcements

Since 1999 Mercer University has sponsored the Preaching Consultation, a gathering of ministers and laypersons interested in the art of preaching. The original plans for this year’s Consultation was to hold the event in Atlanta, but the global health pandemic has compelled us to rethink.

Rethink. Every preacher is doing much of that these days. Rethink worship. Rethink pastoral care. Rethink technologies. Rethink preaching. Rethink what the church will look like beyond the pandemic.

We have pulled together four outstanding preachers who have agreed to share their expertise on how and what we preach in a post-COVID world. Dr. Shaun King, Dr. Darian Duckworth, Rev. Kristian Smith, and Rev. Chelsea Waite bring innovation and creativity to the pulpit of the 21st century that will help all the preachers, proclaimers, and witnesses attending this Consultation.

We want our ministers to find hope, learn new strategies, exchange ideas, and think beyond the pandemic with a vision for the future.

Watch this website for more information about the schedule and the virtual platform. To receive email updates, sign up here. If you have questions, email Nikki Hardeman


Dr. Darian Duckworth


First United Methodist Church
West Point, Mississippi

Dr. Duckworth is in her 14th year of pastoral ministry in Mississippi and currently serves as the pastor of First United Methodist Church of West Point, Mississippi. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. In May of 2020 she received the Doctor of Ministry degree at McAfee School of Theology. Her passion in ministry is the relationship between the local church and end-of-life care, the topic of her project thesis. 

“Dr. D,” as the congregation now calls her, is a certified Yahweh Yoga teacher (YYT-100) and is currently learning how to teach yoga over YouTube as a tool to ease COVID 19 anxieties of church members. Her favorite theologians include The Highwomen, Mumford & Sons, her dog, Isaac, and her nine-year-old niece, Savannah.

Dr. Shaun King


Johns Creek Baptist Church
Alpharetta, Georgia

Dr. Shaun King is the Senior Pastor at Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Ga. Before coming to Johns Creek, Shaun served churches in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia.

He graduated from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, where he double majored in Religion and Psychology.  He earned his Master of Divinity at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia, with an emphasis in Homiletics and Pastoral Care. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, with an emphasis in Leadership and Spirituality.

Shaun is married to Laura Beeler King, who also graduated from Carson-Newman College and is currently a Culinary Arts Teacher at Lambert High School.  Shaun and Laura have two sons, Nathan (a Sophomore at Samford University) and Jackson (a Senior at Lambert High School).

Shaun’s twitter profile describes him this way: He “digs on jazz, lifting weights and Kung Pao Chicken. He follows Jesus, and tries really hard not to embarrass him.”

Rev. Kristian Smith


The Faith Community
Atlanta, Georgia

As a Spiritual Image Developer Kristian helps his clients and congregants develop how they see themselves internally and how others see them externally. He understands that God looks at your heart while humans look at your outer appearance. Kristian’s mission is to help you maximize both.

Kristian is the pastor & founder of The Faith Community and leader of the Holy Smokes: Cigars & Spirituality Movement. Kristian has recently released his first book, Breaking all the Rules, which introduces Greatest Commandment Theology as an ancient framework for modern faith. He is also the proprietor P-Squared Custom Clothiers where he develops the professional images of his male and female clients. Kristian is a fashion aficionado, a foodie and a cigar enthusiast who enjoys lifting weights, but hates cardio. He is married to his beautiful wife, Pamela Merritt.

Rev. Chelsea Waite

Assistant Pastor for Children, College, and Women's Ministries

Ebenezer Baptist Church
Atlanta, Georgia

Being the contradiction of worldly structure at just 18, Rev. Chelsea D. Waite decided to carry out her purpose by preaching the Gospel and teaching people on how to discover and execute their purpose. Rev. Waite is a proud graduate of Spelman College where she obtained her BA in International Studies and a graduate of McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University where she acquired a Master of Divinity degree.

In 2011, Waite founded “The Empowerment Call: 365 Radical Prayer Call,” a modern-day empowerment call that caters to teaching practical principles on how to live in the fullness of life while facing adversities. Every Sunday, people from around the world gather on “The Empowerment Call: 365 Radical Prayer Call” and through various dialogues, speakers and topics, seeds are planted as lives are changed, purposes are ignited, and leaders are cultivated.

In 2015, Chelsea Waite Ministries was birthed with the mission to educate others on the true essence of purpose, regardless of their age, class, race, or gender. Chelsea Waite Ministries is founded upon on 1 Timothy 4:12 NRSV “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” In addition, Rev. Waite published her first book, “The Edge: Purpose Has No Age Limit.” Through this book, Rev. Waite reveals her personal journey and the pathway it took to understand her God-given purpose. Furthermore, this book outlines the importance of knowing one’s purpose and placement in life. Currently, Rev. Chelsea D. Waite serves at the Assistant Pastor for Children, College, and Women’s Ministries at Ebenezer Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock. Above all, Rev. Waite is the proud wife of Rev. Darien Waite and thoroughly enjoys living life with her purpose partner.