One of the highlights of December was the privilege of meeting Dr. Shelton Smith. My husband is always looking for ideas and advice from those who have been down the “ministry road” farther than he, and Dr. Shelton Smith certainly has some experience! He is the current editor of the Sword of the Lord
newspaper and an evangelist. Before taking the position as editor, he pastored in Maryland for 34 years! His church ran around 200 when he first got there, and the Lord allowed it to grow to over 1,500!
To be totally honest, (and you all know that “real” is my middle name) I was very apprehensive about meeting him. He preaches to large crowds often. Our church is not at all large. He is well known; we are most certainly not. He is popular; popular is a word that I would never use to describe my family. I expected Dr. Smith to be way above me in attitude and action, and I felt he had every right to be so. After all, I am only a “somebody” to the Lord, and that is fine with me! I was pleasantly surprised to find that he is absolutely not pious, pompous, or arrogant. He is kind, sincere, understanding and very humble.
My husband introduced me to him first thing Sunday morning. I managed a very weak, “Hello, I’m Valerie.” I had had nightmares of introducing myself to him as the “Wastor’s Pife”, so I just left that part entirely. He smiled, shook my hand and said “I’m so pleased to meet you.”
What?? Did he say he was pleased to meet me?? Yes! He did! I probably let out an audible sigh of relief! He was nice! Whew!
Terry had visited with Dr. Smith quite a bit on Saturday. He gave Terry some very practical advice on scheduling and other things. He encouraged Terry in the ideas that he already had. Terry had said that Dr. Smith was a very “regular kind of guy”, but I was still intimidated.
Unfortunately, we had a rather low attendance that day. I was disappointed because anytime we have a guest speaker, I want them to meet our wonderful people. I also want the people to hear their messages or testimonies. Of course, I am equally disappointed when they aren’t there on a regular Sunday, too! I can honestly say that I love our church people! Seeing them is the highlight of my week. They are why we relocated our family and they are, in essence, the reason we are in Hope, Arkansas. We are here to serve them. I was moved by Dr. Smith’s testimony of how the Lord placed him as the editor of the Sword of the Lord. His Sunday school lesson and evening sermon were an encouragement to my heart. I wish everyone could have gotten that encouragement!
By meeting and visiting with Dr. Smith, my husband learned many good things that will enable him to be a better pastor to our people. I am thankful for the opportunity to meet a great man, like Dr. Smith. He isn’t great because he is the editor of the Sword of the Lord, he is great because he has been faithful many years. My home pastor, Dr. Ken Graham, defined greatness as faithfulness. I agree with that definition.
After our evening service, I had the opportunity to thank him for coming. He was very gracious. He encouraged me to attend one of the Ladies’ Jubilees. I hope I will be able to do just that in the near future.
Here are a few photos of the day:
Dr. Smith with one of our men, Mr. Eugene Bobo
Dr. Smith visits with Bro. Eugene.
Terry and Dr. Shelton Smith
Some of our family with Dr. Smith. If only I could get Lauren to smile! 🙂
I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the Lord in full time ministry. In hard times and happy times; in thick and in thin, I would rather be in God’s service than in any other occupation in the world.
Jeremiah 5:5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God:…