Columbia, Md.—Kentucky Baptist Convention President Kevin Smith was unanimously elected June 7 as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network.
The General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware voted to call Smith, assistant professor of church history and Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Semi-nary and teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, during a special called meeting in Columbia, Md.
“Simply stated, we believe Dr. Smith is the man God has chosen for us. He has outstanding people skills, and has a deep passion for reaching the lost,” said Michael Trammell, board president.
“We are excited that Dr. Kevin Smith has accepted the call of our board to serve alongside Mid-Atlantic Baptists,” added Trammell, senior pastor of Mt. Airy (Md.) Baptist Church.
.Smith, a native of Washington, D.C., grew up in Prince George’s County. Now almost 50, he has fond memories of YMCA summer camps in Edgewater, Md., as well as many teenage nights at the Inner Harbor and the Woodlawn Mall.
He earned a bachelor of science degree from Hampton University, a private, historically black college in the Tidewater, Va., area, where he met Christ.
“I have the most boring testimony,” Smith told the Maryland/Delaware mission board, noting he had grown up in church, but not in a Christian family. His grandmother picked him up every Sunday and took him to church, but it wasn’t until he was attending Hampton that God became real to him.
“My life was changed my freshman year at college… in the chapel there,” he recounted, crediting a chaplain’s sermon. “My life really changed when he was preaching John 3:16!”
Later, Smith moved to Kentucky to study tax law and sat under the ministry of Elder D.J. Ward, pastor of Lexington’s Main Street Baptist Church, where he was called into ministry and met his wife, Patricia.
Smith earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Church of God Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn. And, after nearly a decade of ministry in Tennessee, he moved to Louisville to attend Southern Seminary, where he is completing doctoral studies. In 2006, Smith was appointed to Southern’s faculty, after having served as the Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow.
Prior to joining Highview’s staff, he served as pastor at Watson Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville for eight years. Smith, who made history last November when he became the first African-American tobe elected president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, has served on the KBC’s Committee on Committees, Mission Board, Administrative Committee and Committee on Credentials.
In a letter recommending Smith for the Maryland/Delaware post, Paul Chitwood, KBC executive director-treasurer, said, “Kevin Smith may not be a name familiar to some members of your board but his is a name above reproach in the Kentucky Baptist Convention. In addi-tion to his significant responsibilities as teaching pastor of one of our key churches and a professor at Southern Seminary, Kevin is current-ly serving as president of our state convention and chairman of our KBC Mission Board. In all of these roles, Kevin has been used of God as an agent of reconciliation.”
Chitwood added, “Kevin is a very gifted preacher, being among our most sought after for speaking engagements in Kentucky and be-yond. He connects effectively with churches of every size and in every setting. Kevin knows how to ‘speak pew’ with an energetic delivery that the Spirit of God is using to encourage saints and convict sin-ners.”
Among his other denominational service, Smith is a member ofthe Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s Leadership Network Council. He also has served on the SBC Committee on Resolutions on five separate occasions, most recently in 2014, and recently was appointed to the SBC African American Advisory Council. (WR)