ASU Student Receives the Andy Patterson Young Emerging Leader Award

News Date
student leader

Author: Timothy C. Ervin

Release Date: Sep 25, 2018

An Alabama State University student has received a leadership award from the National Association of the Church of God.

Alabama State University senior rehabilitation major Derek Irving believes in giving all he can from the love of his heart and now he is being rewarded for it.

Irving, who is a youth pastor in his hometown of Montgomery, Ala., recently was selected to be the male recipient of the Andy Patterson Young Emerging Leader Award.  The award is given annually by the National Association of the Church of God to young leaders in the church who exemplify service in their homes, church, community and school. It is awarded to one male leader and one female leader in the Association.

“This award means a whole lot to me,” Irving said. “Growing up in a single parent home, my mother sacrificed a lot to raise me and my two siblings. I always had dreams of serving everyone I could with all of my means because I understood that whatever I gave out of the love of my heart I knew God would give it back 10 fold.”

Irving said he believes that every day you wake up you should strive to be better than you were the day before, and that service to mankind is a requirement not an option. And he tries to do just that.

He is a member of Rosa Parks Avenue Church of God, where he serves as youth pastor, president of the Youth Department and Youth Choir, a member of the Sanctuary Choir, and a Sunday school teacher. He is the youngest licensed minister in the State of Alabama and he currently serves as the State Chairman of the Youth Department.

“Receiving the Andy Patterson Emerging Leader Award from the National Association of the Church of God lets me know that my running has not been in vein,” he said.  Although I’m well aware of the race that’s ahead of me, I firmly believe that I’m off to a great start. I say to all of the people I meet in life, find what you’re good at and use it to serve others.”