In October, Smoke Rise will join with Christians around the world and celebrate our oneness in Christ on World Communion Sunday. Rev. Hugh Thomas Kerr of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began this tradition in 1933. By 1940, Churches around the world have embraced the practice.
This year, Smoke Rise is proud to welcome Rev. Dr. James R. Smith as our preacher. Jim is currently the President of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation, working at the CBF national offices in Decatur. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, Phillips University, Midwestern, Southwestern, and Princeton Theological Seminaries. He is also a graduate of University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Canon Trust School, and a certified estate planner and fundraising professional through Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy.
Jim has served as pastor and on church staff in Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri. He and his wife Debra have a son, a daughter, and five grandchildren. Jim and Debra made the decision to join Smoke Rise Baptist Church earlier this summer. We are grateful that this wonderful couple is a part of our family of faith.
This year, we are also honored to welcome the Matupi Christian Baptist Church to be with us for World Communion Sunday. On September 11th, we entered into a covenant with this congregation and we will welcome them to use the Chapel for Sunday afternoon worship. Pastor Born will read the scripture text in his native language during the service. The entire congregation will be present with us for the 11 o’clock worship service. Please extend gracious welcome to these brothers and sisters in Christ.