Louisville—Kevin Smith, teaching pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, will be nominated as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention when the KBC annual meeting convenes Nov. 10 in Elizabethtown.
Smith, who became the first African-American elected as first vice president of the KBC in 2006, will be nominated by Lincoln Bingham, senior pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church at Shively Heights. If elected, Smith would make history again as the first African-American to hold the office of KBC president.
“Kevin Smith is a Baptist statesman on a national and statewide level. He is a tested leader who loves the bride of Christ,” Bingham said, in announcing his nomination. “Smith is a champion for holistic reconciliation, church revitalization, evangelism and missions.
“I believe our convention is ready for an African-American president,” he said.
In 2006, when Kevin Smith was elected as first vice president, “my joy was partially fulfilled,” said Bingham, who in the 1970s joined the KBC’s newly formed department of interracial cooperation, tasked with promoting close and more effective cooperation between white and black Baptists in Kentucky.
“Please notice my words; I said, ‘Partially fulfilled,'” he continued. “Now, I pray, in the spirit of the apostle Paul, that the Lord fulfills my joy with this nomination (for KBC president),” said the race-relations pioneer who for more than three decades has traveled to the state with a message of racial unity and biblical equality.
Smith has served on Highview’s staff since 2013, and he has been assistant professor of Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2006.
“Pastor Kevin Smith is clearly an outstanding preacher, engaging the entire congregation as he teaches the Word,” said his colleague Jeff Goodyear, adult discipleship pastor at Highview.
“His love and respect for the local church are rivaled only by his passion to reach into the community,” Goodyear added. He leads his church by example, personally investing his time to mentor young people in our local schools and seeking out ways to connect with men who do not yet know Christ.”
Previously, Smith was pastor of Watson Memorial Baptist Church, also in Louisville. During his tenure, he led that congregation into the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and he since has been active on various KBC committees and task forces. He also has served on various SBC committees and as a conference speaker.
“I am honored to be nominated for KBC president by Dr. Lincoln Bingham. He has been a personal inspiration in his efforts for Christ’s people to be united across lines of division,” Smith said.
“Also, he was my family’s pastor before I began to pastor in Kentucky,” Smith added.
Smith said his desire as KBC president would be to encourage pastors and other Christian workers across the commonwealth.
“I think Kentucky Baptists are blessed with a wonderful Mission Board staff and some enthusiastic directors of missions, and other pastors in our associations,” he said. “If elected, I would like to spend my time encouraging pastors to make sure they have healthy relationships to strengthen them as they deal with the challenges of ministry.
“Specifically, I want to make sure they are aware of resources God has provided for them, in our Mission Board, our associations, and other pastors,” he said.
Smith, who is working toward a Ph.D. from Southern Seminary, is a graduate Hampton University and the Church of God Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Pat, have three adult children.
Highview Baptist Church in Louisville gave $65,000 to the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 2014 through the Cooperative Program and $55,000 to the Indiana Baptist Convention through the Cooperative Program from its undesignated receipts of $5,474,903, or a total of 2.19 percent. The church also reported 67 baptisms on the 2014 ACP.
The KBC annual meeting will be held Nov. 10 at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown. (WR)
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