Advertise in Trumpet
Advertise your business, organization or product on our website.
Columnist Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith, Senior Pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, in Columbus, Ohio, is a 1986 graduate of Yale Divinity School, where she earned her M.Div.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Occidental College and her Doctor of Mininistry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
A former reporter, Rev. Smith worked for newspapers in Baltimore and Texas before entering seminary. She also served as an associate producer for WJZ News, as an on-air news reporter for WEAA, the radio station affiliated with Morgan State University in Baltimore, and as a talk show host for “Columbus Today,” a locally heard radio program in Columbus, and as an on-air political commentator for a news magazine television program, also produced in Columbus.
Following graduation from Yale Divinity School, where she served as the first woman to be president of the student body, Dr. Smith served as associate minister at Trinity United Church of Christ, studying under the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. She served at Trinity for three years before accepting the call to be pastor at Advent UCC.
Since becoming pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, the church’s membership has increased from five members to about 300. In addition to outreach ministries to the city’s poor, Rev. Smith’s ministry has concentrated on empowering urban youth through an annual summer arts program, which uses the arts to instill confidence in those youth who participate. Through arts immersion and concentration, as well, on reading, writing, and math, the camp has been successful in helping participating youth to perform better academically during the school year.
Rev. Smith has also served as minister of music at her church for 20 years, as she also served as pastor, producing what some have called a “professional choir” which, in addition to singing in Africa, has sung for professional productions including a promotional performance of “The Lion King,” “The Chocolate Nutcracker,” and with country singer Lyle Lovett.
Rev. Smith was a co-president of BREAD (Building Responsibility, Equity and Dignity), a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, social justice organization comprised of over 50 different religious denominations in the city of Columbus. Under her leadership, that organization was recently instrumental in getting the Ohio Legislature to sign into law a measure which prevents pay day lenders from charging its clients exorbitant interest rates.
She was recently invited to be a participant in the Oxford Roundtable, an event held at Oxford University in England, where she presented a paper on the tension in America between the United States Constitution and the Holy Bible.
She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. (SDPC), a social justice ministry which seeks to empower churches and ministers in urban settings to deal with the problems they face through training, resource development and acquisition, and changing of public policy. When the SDPC held hearings after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Washington, D.C., Houston, and New Orleans, Rev. Smith served as lead commissioner. Those hearings resulted in a published report entitled, “The Breach.”
Rev. Smith is has formed a private, not-for-profit organization aimed at empowering urban youth all over the United States through improved literacy.
She is the author of four books, Carla and Annie, From Calvary to Victory, Forgive WHO?, and Crazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, which is currently in its second printing. Her work also appears weekly on The Washington Post, as a member of a panel of theologians, scholars and writers who comment on issues pertinent to religion.
She is the mother of two children, Caroline, a recent graduate of Spelman College, now studying music therapy at the University of Dayton, and a son, Charles, who is writing and performing music.