On Sunday, July 22, Shining Light United Baptist Church at Chapmanville honored Rev. Sherman Smith with a special Pastor Appreciation Day including a special service and dinner.
With more than 150 in attendance, Pastor Rick Adkins presented a placard of appreciation from the Shining Light congregation, a letter of accommodation from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and a picture of the church with Rev. Smith transposed in front of the church. Rev. James Lucas, former pastor of Chapmanville Church of God, delivered the congratulatory message. Rev. Smith and Rev. Lucas have been blessed to work together on numerous occasions throughout the region and the town of Chapmanville. Rev. Smith founded and served as the pastor of the Shining Light United Baptist Church since its inception in June 1970.
Rev. Smith was baptized in September 1953 and ordained into the ministry in 1959. Several years after he was called to preach, he had a dream of a shining light leading to the building of a church where people would join together to praise and worship God. The Shining Light United Baptist Church came into existence through Rev. Smith’s dream.
The church began in a small church at Stone Branch that had been closed for seven years. Then in June 1970 his dream became a reality when the Shining Light Church on the Crawley Creek Road at Chapmanville was built. This dream was possible through the hard work and contributions of people from all over the country.
Rev. Smith has evangelized in many parts of West Virginia and surrounding areas and has held numerous revivals throughout his ministry. He has served the Lord and his community to the fullest of his ability for the past 53 years, with 42 of those years as pastor of the Shining Light United Baptist Church. Under Pastor Smith’s guidance and dedication, the church flourished and continues to grow today. His dream of bringing lost souls to Jesus Christ is forever his goal. One of his favorite sayings has always been “I am a nobody telling everybody about somebody who can save anybody”.
Along with his calling to serve the Lord, he continued to work in the coal mines and raised a family of five children with his late wife, Roberta. After her passing, he was later blessed to meet and marry another woman of God, his current wife Minnie. He has also been blessed with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In July 2012, Rev. Smith retired and Pastor Rick Adkins, formerly a member of the Central United Baptist Church located on the Holden Road, was chosen as the new pastor. Pastor Adkins has been a blessing to the church and to Rev. Smith in the months following a broken arm injury and rehabilitation. Rev. Smith will continue to work in the church and the community to help bring lost souls to Jesus Christ.