The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South


Hethcock and Panel to Discuss Effective Preaching

The Rev. Dr. William Hethcock, professor emeritus of homiletics, and a panel of five former students from The School of Theology will discuss Hethcock's recently published book, How to Get Your Sermon Heard: Preaching to Win Minds and Hearts, on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., in Hargrove Auditorium. The presentation is open to the public.

Hethcock will limit his remarks to two main topics: a description of his method for preparing to write a sermon and the narrative style of preaching. Following the presentation, panel members will be asked to comment on these two topics related to their own experiences as preachers.

Panel members are the Very Rev. Thomas E. Macfie, dean of All Saints' Chapel and chaplain, Sewanee; the Rev. Bude VanDyke, chaplain, Saint Andrew's-Sewanee School, Sewanee; the Rev. Joseph H. Ballard Jr., rector, Otey Memorial Parish, Sewanee; the Rev. JoAnn D. Barker, retired from Saint Anne's Church, Middletown, Del.; and the Rev. Raymond M. Gotko, retired from Saint James' Church, Marietta, Ga.

The presentation will cover:

  • how to spend less time preparing more effective sermons,
  • how to preach sermons that make their point more clearly, and
  • how to craft sermons that congregations will listen to more attentively.

Seasoned pastors, ordained clergy, lay ministers, and beginning preachers will learn how to compose more effective sermons by making biblical wisdom come alive to people here and now.

Hethcock was ordained an Episcopal priest after studying at The General Theological Seminary in New York. He served congregations in Greensboro and Durham, N.C. The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina called him to work as program director on the diocesan staff. Hethcock also served at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, Ohio.

At The School of Theology, Hethcock was director of field education and taught homiletics. After his retirement, he taught homiletics at The Virginia Theological Seminary.