YPPC’s New Full Time Installed Pastor!
Starting September 20th, 2021
Rev. Smith’s Journey of Faith
For as long as I can remember, faith has been a part of my life. Though I do not have a single conversion story to share, I have a lifelong story of hearing God’s call and stepping out in faith as that call was affirmed by God’s people. Having been raised in the church, I first became aware of God calling me to ministry in the eighth grade. As our youth minister was preparing to leave for seminary, he told me that God was going to use my life. He may have said the same words to every other kid on the way out the door, but for me, it was the first time that I considered the possibility that God could use me. That was also the year that I first felt God’s presence in worship and prayer along with God’s personal guidance as the Word became alive for me in Bible study.
As I transitioned into adolescence, my life revolved around family, friends, church, and school. I thrived on participation. Teachers, youth group leaders, and adult family members inspired me to dream big dreams and gave me independence to discern God’s call as I headed off to college and began to consider who I was, what made me unique, and who God would have me to become. As a part of the discernment process, I completed an internship in Christian Education at Westminster Presbyterian Church my freshman year. Sitting in the pews and listening to the sermon, I first considered the possibility that God could use my life as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament. I saw myself on the other side of the pulpit and imagined what I might preach.
During Christmas Break of my senior year of college, my husband and I were married, and I began working at James Island Presbyterian Church as youth minister the next week. My plans were to go straight to seminary following college graduation. However, I found a church that I longed to serve at James Island Presbyterian. While serving as Director of Christian Education, my husband and I welcomed our first two sons. Then, through the generous gift of a church member, I was able to pursue my Master of Divinity degree through the distance learning program at Erskine Seminary. After five years of working, parenting, and studying, I was ordained as the first associate pastor of James Island Presbyterian in January of 2013.
Amidst all of the changes in our personal lives and the life of the congregation, my husband and I also welcomed two more sons to our family in 2013. Over the past eight years of ordained ministry, I have grown in my identity as a pastor with increased confidence in preaching, leading, and navigating crisis situations. In almost twenty years of ministry at James Island, I have learned what it means to be the church. As my family and I step out in faith so that I can answer a new call to serve as a solo pastor, I know there will continue to be challenges and opportunities for growth. I trust that God will continue to call me along this journey, one step at a time.
Rev. Smith brings many gifts and strengths to YPPC, including:
– a gift for teaching and preaching the Word
– a passion for mission and service
– spiritually mature
– works well with church leaders
– pastoral care
– good in a crisis
– open and welcoming
– an educator at heart who loves to lead confirmation classes and write curriculum
– motivated and detail oriented
– confident and competent
– an advocate for children and youth
– active in the community
– passionate about reaching out to the community
– a planner who follows through
– actively involved in presbytery leadership
– plans to pursue a doctorate – possibly in church revitalization