At 12 noon on July 22, Bishop Lionel Smith will be installed as pastor of Greater New Zion Baptist Church at 38 Talley Drive in Fletcher, NC (across from Smiley’s Flea-market).
Bishop Smith will be installed by Bishop Andy C. Lewter, D. Min., pastor of Hollywood Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral in Amityville, New York. Reverend James T. Barber, Pastor of the Boyd Hill Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC, will preside.
Bishop Smith served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968 as a communications expert with high security clearance during the Viet Nam conflict, and received the Army Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart for his dedicated service to our country. In 1979 he was licensed to preach at the Hollywood Baptist Church of Christ, under the Reverend Andy C. Lewter, and served as the Associate Minister.
In 1980, Bishop Smith was ordained, and he organized and founded the Faith Missionary Baptist Church, chartered by the Eastern Baptist Association. Bishop Smith was moderator of the Long Island (NY) Progressive Missionary Baptist Churches General Association for three consecutive terms. During his tenure he established the Long Island Progressive Bible College and brought an international component to the association. He has held the position of President of the Ministerial Alliance of Huntington, NY, and vicinity, and is now President of the Progressive State Baptist Convention of New York, which is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention of America NBCA. He also serves as 2nd Vice-moderator of the New Way Progressive Baptist Association of Nassau, Bahamas, and held the position of Northeast Regional Director for the NBCA. Bishop Smith was named Foreign Mission Deputy Secretary for the Virgin Islands by the president of the National Baptist Convention of America in 2014.
Bishop Smith earned an Associate of Science degree from the State University of NY at Farmingdale in 1980, and continued his education at SUNY-Old Westbury and SUNY-Stony Brook. He has a Bachelor of Arts from New Life School of Theology and has received certificates from Princeton Theological Seminary and The Graduate School of Theological Studies, Regent University; he also attended theological intensives at Harvard and Yale. He received an honorary doctorate in 2008, and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Sacred Theology Degree from New Life School of Theology.
For 36 years, Pastor Smith labored in the vineyard at Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Huntington Station, NY, until his relocation to Asheville to pastor at Greater New Zion Baptist Church. Bishop Smith is married to Doreen Wilburn-Smith, and has six children living in the United States and abroad, and 13 grandchildren.