Wake the Pulpit

Wake the Pulpit seeks to provide opportunities for students from various Christian traditions to gain preaching experience while assisting congregations who need a pulpit supply preacher and/or a transitional or temporary pastoral appointment, or have limited funds to appropriately compensate a full time minister.

Wake the Pulpit intends to partner with churches to provide student ministers from Wake Forest University School of Divinity who are interested in congregational ministry.  Partner churches can hear a word and the students can gain experience outside of their normal internship or church setting.


We believe that students enter into Wake Forest University School of Divinity to gain knowledge that will help them to change the world. In doing this the School of Divinity has set up internship placements for the students in which they can choose where they would like to serve and who they would like to work with in different capacities from non-profit work to congregational settings . While all students do no immediately indicate a desire to serve in congregational ministry, students are equipped to preach and proclaim the gospel.

All students are required to serve in internships.  However, some internship opportunities may not provide ample opportunities for students to gain practical experience preaching regularly.  At the same time, we recognize the need many churches have to supply their pulpits with talented and gifted preachers in the summer, and periodically, throughout the year.

Recognizing that there are churches throughout North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, who are without pastors or are in need of temporary preachers, we want to connect our students with these congregations.  The void that may be left for the student and the church can be filled by the help that they provide for one another through Wake the Pulpit.


Churches or individuals may request that a student preach or fill a pulpit supply, by contacting the student directly via email.  You are encouraged to review the full list of preachers below.  Typically, students should be given at least two weeks notice or more.  Congregations should plan to compensate students for their time to prepare, preach, and transportation (gas or mileage, if applicable).  

Meet the Preachers

Abby Catoe

Divinity Year: 2017 alumna

Email: catoac14@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

I am a native of Winston-Salem currently living the farm life in rural Yadkin county with my husband, horses and dogs. I am beginning my last semester of divinity school with plans for ordination in April 2017. I enjoy life to the fullest outside and love speaking to others about the wonders of our creation and its Creator. See resume. 


Yolanda Carter

Divinity Year: Second

Email: cartyn16@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Baptist

Yolanda Carter is currently pursuing her fourth degree. As a former correctional and probation officer as well as a licensed and experienced attorney, she has extensive experience within the criminal justice system. From that experience, Yolanda has become an advocate for marginalized populations and continues to voluntarily assist indigent clients pro bono. Yolanda plans to merge her education, experience, and love for Christ to compassionately minister His love through various mediums and in various settings. See resume.


Justin Cox

Divinity Year: Second

Email: coxja16@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Non- Denominational

Called to ministry in 2008 from a manufacturing logistics background, my life is now centered on walking daily with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in such a manner that I may know him and share his Word. In obedience to God, I seek to understand and love my neighbor as well as bring unity and clarity to the church. Through God’s infinite grace I use my strength and leadership skills for the task of preaching, teaching, and disciple building. I am 36 years old, married to my patient and beautiful wife Lauren, and am currently enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Wake Forest University. My free time is most often spent with my wife and our house full of animals, reading theology, and journaling. See resume.


Marc DeCoste

Divinity Year: Third

Email: decomc15@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Episcopal Church

Marc currently serves as Youth Director at Calvary Moravian Church in Winston-Salem. He grew up in Plymouth, MA and completed undergraduate studies at Grinnell College in Iowa, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Neuroscience. Currently, Marc is interested in ordained ministry within the Episcopal Church. See resume.


Taina Diaz-Reyes

Divinity Year: Second

Email: diaztm16@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: International Pentecostal Holiness Church

My background is in sustainability and geography, each of which are rather interdisciplinary fields, and have allowed me to think critically about issues facing our culture and economy. More importantly, to approach difficult issues (environmental advocacy, economic disparity, access to food, sexism, etc.) that affect the church in different ways depending on specific geographic contexts. I wonder if Christians, who claim to be bearers of the Good News in the world, are capable of rallying themselves to look at this bigger picture and be good stewards of God’s creation. My hope for the future is to find myself in a role of faculty member and researcher at a university, but also in the role of youth minister in a church community. My desire to study relationships between people and place will determine where I choose to complete further graduate studies, and where I will serve as faculty or clergy. See resume.


Anna Fleig

Divinity Year: Third

Email: fleiak14@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: United Church of Christ

Anna is a third year student in the MDiv/MA in Counseling dual degree program. She is a member of Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and uses an ecumenical approach to her work in the larger community. In addition to her interest in preparing and delivering messages of hope that inspire communities to action, Anna is also a trained facilitator for the Our Whole Lives human sexuality curriculum. Outside of her work as a student, counselor-in-training, and community advocate, she is a mother to two engaging, funny, thought-provoking emerging adolescents. See resume.


Gretchen Gabrielson

Divinity Year: Second

Email: gjgabrielson@gmail.com 

Denomination/ Tradition: Non-Denominational

I am passionate about people and vocalizing the needs of the greater community. As a Communications Studies Major at Furman University, I put a precedent on advocating for social justice issues including human trafficking, and interpersonal and interpersonal empowerment. I am seeking to engage in a community with joy and a commitment to seeking goodness and love. I am passionate and excited for this opportunity because I have had a long term passion for public speaking. See resume.


Steve Gardner

Divinity Year: Second

Email: gardjs16@wfu.edu 

Denomination/ Tradition: Baptist, Church of Christ, Any Denomination

Steve Gardner has practiced law in an international law firm for 22 years and is currently studying for a Master of Divinity degree at Wake Forest University. Before going to law school, he obtained master of science and bachelor of science degrees in electrical engineering. He has also served as an adjunct professor at two universities and as a law clerk to two federal judges. He is comfortable speaking to small or large groups and congregations and has extensive experience speaking at Sunday School, Wednesday night classes, seminars, symposia, and similar settings (150+ such engagements). He has been active in Baptist churches and Churches of Christ and is not denomination focused. He is available to speak on general topics or to prepare to speak on topics of specific interest. See resume.


Darrell Hamilton

Divinity Year: 2017 alumnus

Email: hamid14@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Baptist

Rev. Darrell R. Hamilton, II is a third year student at Wake Forest School of Divinity anticipating to graduate May 2017. Darrell is originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, and in 2012 received his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of Central Oklahoma. Darrell has served as teaching assistant for Rev. Dr. Bill J. Leonard, professor of Baptist Studies and Church History at Wake Forest School of Divinity; interned under Rev. Willard Bass and the Freedom Tree IDR; and interned with Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, and his organization Repairers of the Breach. For just under two years, Darrell has served as a Pastoral Assistant for Youth and Children at Peace Haven Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC, under Pastor Nathan Parrish. Currently, Darrell works as an intern for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C. Darrell’s vocational interests include: promoting the importance of diversity and diversification, advocating for the vulnerable and marginalized, working for the healing and wholeness of people and communities, and preaching the gospel message of justice and liberation in order to spread a deeper and fuller appreciation of the Christian faith. See resume.


Demi McCoy

Divinity Year: 2017 alumna

Email: demi.mccoy@gmail.com

Denomination/ Tradition: Progressive National Baptist Convention

Demi McCoy, also known as “Demi Day,” is a spoken word minister, preacher, and hip-hop artist from Upper Marlboro, MD. Her passion and talent has led her to speak and perform at various churches, conferences, and events across the nation. Most of her work focuses on community and social justice as it relates to race, gender, and sexuality. In addition to being a 3rd-year student at Wake Forest School of Divinity, Demi also serves as a preaching intern at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. See resume.


Nicole Newton

Divinity Year: 2017 alumna

Email: delphia.newton@gmail.com 

Denomination/ Tradition: Presbyterian Church (USA)

Nicole Newton serves as Elementary Ministry Coordinator for Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC and is seeking ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is also an educational consultant specializing in Faith and Human Sexuality and Multiple Intelligence Theory. She is the mom of two wild and wonderful daughters and the wife of the most patient husband known to man. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for large crowds, traveling the world, and having silly dance parties in the kitchen. See resume.


Sarah Ogletree

Divinity Year: Second

Email: oglese16@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: United Methodist Church

Sarah Ogletree is a graduate of the Sustainable Development Program at Appalachian State University. She h as worked closely with organizations such as the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina and the United Methodist Women to establish relationships between communities of faith and movements of environmental justice. Sarah hopes to become a resource to both the church and her community regarding faith-based climate action. See resume. 


Daniel Webb

Divinity Year: Second

Email: webbd16@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Baptist

Rev. Daniel Webb is a native of Baltimore, MD, and has been preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ for nearly 20 years. In addition to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Rev. Webb is also an effective teacher of the Gospel, and a highly sought after revivalist. Within the Wake School of Divinity, Rev. Webb’s focus is on systematic theology and social justice. As a means to narrow the gap between theoretical theology, and application theology, Rev. Webb recently traveled to Israel on a pilgrimage, whereas he traversed the soils of Jerusalem, Palestine, and the surrounding Ancient Near East (ANE). See resume.


Bill Whitney

Divinity Year: Second

Email: whitwr16@wfu.edu

Denomination/ Tradition: Presbyterian Church (USA)

Bill is a seminary student at Wake Forest School of Divinity. He is originally from the Seattle area where he was a builder for close to forty years and now is answering the call to full-time Christian work. He is a thoughtful and effective communicator. With Jeanne, his wife of forty years, he is currently living in Cornelius and enjoying life in the South and time with some of the grandchildren. See resume.