Emanuel installs pastor, gets advice


The Rev. Keith Smith, center, and his wife, First Lady Tiara Smith, are welcomed as the Rev. Smith is installed as pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church. Right is Elder L.C. Hunt, moderator of the Jerusalem Baptist Association.

Brad McClenny/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 12:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 12:56 p.m.

The installation service for the Rev. Keith Smith as pastor at Emanuel Missionary Baptist Church featured instructions from the pastor of Smith's home church and also officials of the Jerusalem Baptist Association as they directed the congregation to take care of Smith.

Facts

EMANUEL MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

* Pastor: The Rev. Keith L. Smith.

* Location: 1203 NE 8th Ave.

* Services: Sunday School is 9:30 a.m., with no Sunday School on 5th Sunday; morning worship is 11 a.m., except on 5th Sunday when it is determined by the 5th Sunday Union. Noonday prayer is noon Tuesday and Bible study is 6 p.m. Wednesday.

* Phone: 352-377-0990.

The speaker was the Rev. DeWayne McBride, pastor of St. Peter Baptist Church in Archer, Smith's home church, and the charge to the congregation, a ceremony that involves the congregation and the pastor agreeing to accept each other, was led by the Rev. Jose Cuevas of St. John Baptist Church in Chiefland, who also is 2nd vice moderator of the association.

McBride preached from I Peter 4:7-11 on the subject of "And He Gave Some." After reading the text, McBride quickly explained what it means. "And he gave some," McBride said. "Not everybody, but just some."

He said everyone is not called to be a pastor, adding that Emanuel was blessed to be receiving one. He also said everyone is not an apostle or a prophet, even though a lot of people are "buying" those titles.

"Everybody didn't get the same gift," said McBride.

He also said the doctrine of the church is spelled out in the first three chapters of Ephesians and there are a lot of people in church who believe they don't have to follow biblical doctrine. He said without biblical doctrine and teaching in the church, people will "run off and do anything that they want to do."

He said Christians, especially pastors, must be humble and holy in their walk with Christ, even when people are mistreating them.

"He told us on the front end that we were going to suffer through some things for the kingdom, but you got to be holy, you got to be humble, you just got to grin and bear it and you just got to take it sometimes," McBride said.

He said God told him to tell the congregation at Emanuel that Smith is a gift to the church.

"God has seen fit to send you another gift. Don't mess this up," McBride instructed the congregation. "Don't abuse it. If you mess this up, it ain't no guarantee he will send you another one."

After the sermon, Elder L.C. Hunt, moderator of the Jerusalem Association, told the congregation not to call him anymore about installing another pastor. "You have had five pastors during my tenure as moderator of the association," Hunt said.

Hunt then introduced Cuevas to lead the charge.

During the charge, Cuevas advised the congregation to do three things for Smith — pray for Smith and his family, pay Smith and keep themselves in position to follow Smith as he follows the Lord.

Smith, 43, of Archer, is married to Tiara Smith, and the couple have five children. Smith, a 1988 graduate of Newberry High School, accepted his call to ministry in November 2009 when he was ordained after first being called to ministry in October 2007.

"The Lord spoke to me and all I remember is that I told him I would do it," Smith said.

Smith said his primary focus at Emanuel will be to educate the congregation about the word of God.

"One thing that intrigued me the most when I got to Emanuel was the lack of knowledge people had about the scriptures," said Smith, adding that the ministry of the gospel centers around one important fact.

"Because of the work Jesus Christ did, we all have access to the tree of life," Smith said.

Johnnie Mae Kamma, chair of the installation committee, said she feels Smith is a perfect fit for Emanuel.

"I have been the musician at Emanuel on and off for a number of years and I have never seen the membership as happy and more unified than they are now," Kamma said. "I truly believe that the Lord stationed Pastor Smith at Emanuel to lead them for a very long time."

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