By Laura Camby McCaskill
By Faith Magazine has honored South Carolina United Methodist pastor the Rev. Millie Nelson Smith for her work with local churches in the annual conference.
Smith was featured on the cover and prominently in the March edition of By Faith Magazine. By Faith Magazine celebrates the gifts and ministry of black United Methodist churches and circulates through 4,000 churches in the United Methodist connection. It began in 2015 by Dr. Henry L. Masters Sr., a retired UMC pastor.
“I love doing what I do,” Smith said, “I kind of wait to see what God has next for me. In all the places I’ve served in my ministry and my life, I’ve never really just sought a particular theme. God has always opened the door and placed me in a place that I never even thought about doing. And it’s always been that right place for me.”
Since 2007, Smith has held trainings in leadership and conflict education, helped churches engage their community and assessed the health of the churches to determine where they are and where they believe God is calling them to be.
In June 2016, Smith was appointed as congregational specialist for African American Ministries for the South Carolina Conference of the UMC. She was the fourth person to serve in that role and the first woman to serve in that position.
Smith has been in ministry for most of her adult life and attends St. Paul United Methodist Church, Camden. She is part of a clergy couple (her husband is the Rev. James Smith) and is a mother and grandmother. Prior to being a pastor, she has worked in the hospital as a pharmacy technician, worked as a ward clerk, worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and worked in broadcasting managing a Christian talk station. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her pets, traveling, camping and gardening.
“The hard things in life that we would really like to just brush off those are the things we should pay attention to because that’s the greatest place God will make a blessing in our lives,” Smith said. “I believe that God has given each of us a special assignment, and that assignment is all about who we are. And when we realize that God has us here for that assignment and we allow God to direct our path and order our steps, it changes everything about the way we view the world and live our lives.
“It just makes everything about our days brighter. It helps us to not look back and not have regrets.”
By Laura Camby McCaskill