Alexandra Pappas Receives the 2019 First Presbyterian Church, Malvern, Chidester Preaching Award
AUSTIN (May 14, 2019) – Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary graduating senior Alexandra Pappas has been selected to receive the 2019 Chidester Preaching Award. The $5000 prize is made possible by a gift from First Presbyterian Church in Malvern, Arkansas. The church funded The Chidester Award through an endowment gift in 2010 to support Austin Seminary’s mission to prepare new pastoral leaders.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Alex is a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church and a graduate of Rhodes College. She served as a PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer and as the volunteer program manager for Project Homecoming in New Orleans (2013-16). She was also youth coordinator for the Presbytery of South Louisiana (2014-16) and has been a small group leader at Mo-Ranch, Montreat, and the Synod Youth Workshop. During her time at Austin Seminary she served as the UKirk campus ministry intern at University Presbyterian Church, Austin. Her seminary studies were underwritten by the Grace Presbytery Endowed Fellowship.
The Chidester Award is given annually to recognize a graduating student who shows greatest potential in the area of preaching. The candidate for the award is recommended by the Seminary’s homiletics (preaching) faculty: President Theodore J. Wardlaw, Professor Jennifer Lord, and Professor Carolyn Helsel.
President Ted Wardlaw says, “In my judgment, Alex is a remarkable and imaginative narrative preacher who weaves thoughtful exegesis with rich imagery from such sources as contemporary literature, poetry, and the stirrings of her own soul. When she preached her Senior Sermon earlier this spring on the evocative story of the near-sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham, she viewed that story from the eyes of Isaac’s mother, Sarah. She even composed a hymn based on Sarah’s perspective.”
Alex will receive the master of divinity degree from Austin Seminary on May 26. Following graduation she will complete a clinical pastoral education program at Children’s Hospital in Dallas, and in the fall she will become the Newton B. Stoer Fellow at First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, Louisiana.