Sermon Texts

May 10, 2020

Mother’s Day
Rev. Deanie Strength

Opening Thoughts on Scripture
John 14:15-27

SLIDE (Bird with two babies under the wing)

By the grace of God, we have walked another week into new territory on our wilderness journey. There have been moments of refreshment for our congregation. On Monday, the Presbyterian Women Coordinating Council had its first Zoom meeting with 100% attendance. And on Thursday, we broadcast an inspiring and uplifting National Day of Prayer service for the Skidaway community. I want to thank Jeff who insisted the prayer service could be carried out safely and worked with our AV team to make it happen. When the stay-at-home order first went into place, there was talk about cancelling this service, but Jeff recognized that we needed prayer in times like this more than ever.

I also want to thank Eleanor Graham, PW Moderator and elder, who has taken the initiative to work with Jim Brown to strengthen our ability to enjoy virtual community. Jeff and elder Thom Greenlaw have been helping us gather by Zoom for a virtual coffee hour for several weeks and now you will notice that as you are watching our service today, you are able to join in a “chat room” to say hi and share some encouragement. This chat room will be open now 30 minutes prior to and following each service so jump in and say “hi” – send up some virtual hearts to say you like something you see or that you are thankful for some aspect of the service.

Staying in gratitude is such an important tool to help us keep our hearts light rather than weighed down with brooding and frustration. I had my first good cry on Friday about the many losses that are being experienced far and wide, but I found gratitude in preparing this message for all of you. I imagined you in your places in the pews, giving your smiles of encouragement. I am thankful for you and I am thankful for the good promises of God that I encountered as I went looking for words to bring you hope and comfort today.

Today’s passage helps us connect to the caring spirit of God as well as the caring spirit of our mothers (both the ones in whose wombs God knit us together – Psalm 139: 13-14 – and those who God may have given us through adoption or familial ties). The passage is drawn from the Gospel of John and recalls the moment when Jesus promises the disciples the peace of mind brought by the Holy Spirit who would come to them in his absence as the “paraclete” or the “nearby called one” who will provide comfort.

(Slide of mother with baby chicks) This slide is the vision that comes to my mind when I think of the comfort and care of the Holy Spirit and hear passages like Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” And this slide reminds me of the care and love my mother has given my sister and me for almost 50 years. She sent us this photo several years ago and, since the Holy Spirit makes appearances in the Bible like a dove, I have used this image to describe for our preschoolers the care that our parents and our God seek to provide for us. I invite you to hold this image and these thoughts in your mind as we listen to God’s word in the Gospel of John 14:15-27.

A Message for Today

I hope I am not alone in having a few “mom” stories I regret. One of mine is the day I was so overwhelmed with thoughts and responsibilities that I drove about 10 minutes away from a park where my children were playing thinking they were in the backseat of the car playing with their devices. By the time I got back to them, there was a little panic on their part and mine.

Thankfully, we were able to overcome that trauma, but it really does hurt to be left behind, especially by the one you look to for care and direction. Jesus knew his followers had leaned on him and would feel fear about his absence so here he tells them about the gifts coming their way:

1) The Holy Spirit who is going to come and stay with them throughout their life span, even throughout the vast span of history, to lead them to truth and wisdom

2) Peace of mind and heart which will come as they breathe in the Spirit – or “pneuma” in Greek – and are taught in all truth and wisdom

The Holy Spirit – or paraclete – will be their counselor, advocate, helper, and friend – aspects of God that sound very “motherly” to me.

(Slide of MOTHER OWL) For the last couple of weeks on the Isle of Hope where I live, my neighbors and I have been focused this bard owl as she displays some of these “motherly” characteristics. About a month ago, she and her two owlets (SLIDE of TWO BABY OWLS) were spotted in a hollow of a tree on the bluff which has been a nesting spot in recent years. Though we can easily see them with our own eyes, the wonderful photography of resident Bill Tongue posted on our Isle of Hope Facebook page, have enabled us to enjoy close-up shots of the maturing babies.

We’ve watched them grow brave enough to come to the edge of the hollow watching for their mother to return with food for them to eat. We’ve heard their call and her response from a tree on the other side of the street. Last week their wings had fledged enough that they were ready to start working those wings and try flying themselves. They went for it, making it far enough to land on a nearby branch of another live oak and hop around freely for a couple of days. But when one thought its perch was more secure than it was, it fell two stories to the ground and got all tangled up in some Spanish moss. There it lay at the base of the tree stunned and immobile for a few minutes. (Slide of owl with funny wing)

But the mother stayed close. She flew to a nearby branch and stood guard while Mr. Tongue disentangled the bird. And she stayed close by as the baby walked itself over to a nearby live oak tree covered with vines and began working its way back up to the tree canopy, one step at a time, to resume its flight education. (Slide of owl in brush).

We can recognize ourselves in that owlet – remember first wanting to learn to fly and take on responsibility like an adult? We started by doing the little things like making and keeping appointments and getting our car registered and then moved to doing big things like starting families, starting businesses, hiring people to help us with the business, and developing skills to help people with important things.

Our experience told us we were on solid footing but then circumstances changed and we had the breath knocked out. A war or a recession or the death of a wage earner or a divorce and we felt as vulnerable as kids again wanting our mommies and daddies to take care of

things – or something to restore our security and peace of mind. Going forward despite our fears is what made us grow up to be adults. Going forward with faith in the Holy Spirit standing by our side is what enabled us to become the to be adults others can turn to for encouragement and strength in their times of need.

When the circumstances are hard, people of faith don’t put on the T-shirts that have become quite popular in the last couple of years: (SLIDE – No Adulting Today) – “NO ADULTING TODAY!” Unlike children crying in distress!”(Slide of child crying for parent), people of faith are able to face the future knowing that God will keep in perfect peace, all who trust in Him, all whose thoughts are fixed on him. (Isaiah 26:3) Our God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – will not leave us as orphans. Whenever we feel alone, God is ready to come to us, and breathe into us a breath that is filled with spiritual health and strength. The Greek word for “Spirit” – “pneuma” does, in fact, mean breath but God isn’t asking us to take in a “spirit” or “breath” of fear or sickness that would contain germs like “pneumonia” or “COVID-19” but to breathe in his “ spirit of power, of love, and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Taking in a deep breath of Christ’s power will revive us. Letting the Spirit direct us to his teachings will comfort us and give us “peace of mind.”

This week, when the chaos of this crisis causes your fear to sky- rocket, try this… (Slide of child lying in the green grass) this is the image I would like you to picture. You as this little child, lying in green pastures by still waters – it’s the one I used this year with the preschoolers to explain Psalm 23. Take a deep breath and call on the Holy Spirit to comfort you with His promises and listen… “I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) …. For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. (Isaiah 54:10) … Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6)

I pray that you might know this peace this day – this week – and even forevermore. To God Be the Glory. Amen.

LIVE STREAM SCHEDULE

Worship Service – Sundays | 10:00 AM

National Day of Prayer Service | MAY 7 | 7:00 PM
(A Skidaway Island Community Event)

COVID-19 Updates

May 9, 2020

CANCELLATIONS:

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Shredding Event
Handbell/Choir Practice

Boy/Cub/Girl Scout Meetings
The Learning Center (will be recorded and available on YouTube)
Savannah Council on World Affairs (will be recorded and available on YouTube)

COVID-19 Testing at SIPC on MAY 28

Chatham Emergency Management and the Health Dept will be using our site for remote COVID-19 testing on May 28 from 9:00 – 1:00. It will be a drive through set up, first come, first served. The National Guard will set up tents in which people will drive through, roll down their windows, and be tested.

Savannah Presbytery Recommendation to Continue Virtual Worship and other Church Activities

April 23, 2020

Dear Pastors, Clerks of Session, and Members of Savannah Presbytery,

With this week’s announcement by Governor Brian Kemp that churches may resume worship services this Sunday, we have come together to discern what guidance we might provide to the congregations of Savannah Presbytery.

On a Wednesday call with more than a dozen pastors from every district in our presbytery (representing both small and large churches), there was unanimous agreement that their congregations were not ready to take responsibility for the health risks that would come with opening our sanctuaries and meeting as a community. Many of our church members and pastors are either over 60 years of age or have health conditions that leave them compromised, and thus more susceptible to the severe consequences of infection. The federal guidelines informed by the CDC recommend that communities have a 14 day decline in COVID-19 cases. Georgia’s rate is still on the increase. One of our churches has already had to experience the ramifications of notifying congregation members that someone who had been in worship with them before the stay-at-home order had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

We applaud the efforts that our presbytery pastors and church leaders are making to continue to worship and “do church” remotely. We highly recommend that this continue and that church facilities remained closed. During this time of waiting, sessions should continue to explore how the CDC’s suggestions for mitigating health risks (i.e. numerical management, social distancing, increased attention to sanitation, wearing masks in public) would alter their “pre-pandemic” practices for gatherings on the church campus. A good resource for developing new and healthier practices is a blog article by Ken Braddy, the director of Sunday School for Lifeway Christian Resources, titled “24 Questions Your Church Should Answer Before People Return.” www.kenbraddy.com

Savannah Presbytery is a covenant community. We value a reformed heritage that looks after the needs and well-being of the “least of these” within the context of the covenant community. While we are not yet able to recommend a date in which we can once again worship as the Body of Christ gathered in one place, we look forward to rejoicing when all who are able can celebrate under one roof in our houses of worship. We will listen to the advice of the CDC and maintain contact with all of our churches as we look forward to safely meeting together in the near future.

May God bless you and your congregations during this unfamiliar and anxious time.

Sincerely,

TE Alan Baroody, Transitional General Presbyter

TE Eric Beene, Acting Stated Clerk

RE Doty Dunn, Presbytery Moderator-Elect

TE Jeff Garrison, Council Chair

TE Andy Meeker, Committee on Ministry Chair

TE Deanie Strength, Presbytery Moderator

 

GENERAL INFO: The office will be closed until APRIL 30 except for essential business and pastoral needs. If you are coming to the office, please call first. We are trying our best to keep our members and friends and the general public safe as we also strive to slow the speed of the infection rates of COVID-19.

We are currently implementing conference calling options so that upcoming church meetings can be done remotely. We have cancelled all non-essential meetings at the church until APRIL 30.

Please let Pastor Jeff know if there are those who have needs that we, as the church, can help them meet. His direct number at church is 598-9605.

SUNDAY’S SERVICE: We will continue to hold abbreviated services that will be live-streamed. We also hope to put the service online in its entirety soon afterwards so that those who missed it at 10 AM will be able to watch the service. We encourage everyone to watch the service online from home. Please keep in touch as our plans may change as new guidelines from the CDC or state and local governments are released.

CLOSING REQUESTS
Please let us know how we might continue to be a church during this time. This is new ground for everyone and there may be things we have overlooked.

In your prayers, please remember to pray for:

  • Our church and its leaders
  • Those who have been infected with COVID-19
  • Those who serve the public as medical professionals (Physicians, Nurses, First Responders, etc.)
  • Our national, state, and local leaders
  • Wisdom, patience, and understanding in an uncertain time


    God is our refuge and strength, 
    A very present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(provided by CEMA)

Confirmed Cases

Q: Do we have any cases here?
A: If/when we get a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, we will let the public know. The Georgia Department of Public Health updates its website, dph.ga.gov, every day at noon with a map of lab-confirmed cases around the state of Georgia.

Q: What happens when we start getting cases?
A: Even if you are in a county with no confirmed case, don’t assume the virus is not present. Because testing has been limited, we may not have an accurate picture of the current level of infection across our area. That’s why we must all take measures to protect ourselves and others from spreading germs.

That means:

• Washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. If you don’t have soap, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Regularly clean common surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, computer keyboards, and light switches.
• Cover your cough with a tissue and throw the tissue away or cough into the crook of your elbow.
• Instead of shaking hands, consider a fist or elbow bump.
• Don’t share cups or eating utensils.

Testing

Q: Can I get tested for COVID-19 at the health department?
A: No. Local health departments cannot evaluate, test, or treat COVID-19.

Q: Who can get tested and where?
A: Right now, all tests for COVID-19 must be ordered by a physician. Federal and state agencies are working to expand access to testing, but currently testing supplies and laboratories are limited. That’s why testing must be prioritized. Not everyone should get tested. Clinicians use certain criteria to determine if testing is warranted.

Priorities for testing include:

• Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19
• Other symptomatic individuals such as older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions or are immunocompromised
• Any persons who, within 14 days of showing symptoms, had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
• Healthcare professionals who care for patients with COVID-19

Q: What if I have symptoms or think I have COVID-19 but don’t fall into a priority testing category?
A: We are still in flu and allergy season and several symptoms of COVID-19 are similar. If you have symptoms including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, then you should stay home and away from others. You shouldn’t go outside your home except to get medical care but – and this is important – don’t seek medical care without calling the healthcare provider first. That will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

If you have symptoms:
• Stay in a specific room of the house and use a separate bathroom from others if you can.
• Don’t share personal items such as dishes, eating utensils, or bedding with others in your home and thoroughly wash those items with soap and water after they’ve been used.
• Use household cleaners to clean high-touch surfaces and areas – some examples include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, phones, and keyboards.
• While we don’t recommend facemasks for everyone, people who are sick should wear one when around other people. If the person who is sick can’t wear a facemask because, say, they have trouble breathing, then anyone who is in the room with the sick person should wear a facemask.
• And of course, the same basic hygiene recommendations still apply: Wash your hands, sneeze or cough into a tissue and throw the tissue away, regularly clean common surfaces in the home, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home. Even with severe cases, the absence of a test does not delay treatment. Doctors can provide supportive care to ease symptoms, and this is done with or without a test.

Q: How many people are being tested?
A: We don’t know how many people are being tested. Commercial laboratories are not required to report the number of tests they’ve ordered; however, they MUST report any positive tests to public health.

Q: How will we know if people in our area are positive for COVID-19?
A: Laboratories must report positive tests to public health. If/when we are notified that we have lab-confirmed positive cases, we will let the public know through our website (GaCHD.org), media partners, social media outlets, communications through other community partners such as Emergency Management Agencies.

Q: Are there home testing kits available?
A: No. We understand people are concerned and that many individuals would like to be tested. Right now, the only way to get tested is for a physician to order the test. But again, if you have mild symptoms you should isolate yourself from others in your household and care for yourself at home. If your symptoms become worse, call a healthcare provider.

Social Distancing

Q: What is social distancing?
A: Social distancing means minimizing contact with people. It also means that if you are near someone in public, try to stay at least 6 feet away. The less contact people have with one another means the less opportunity for the virus to spread. Slowing the spread of the virus means we can keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Precautions

Q: Should I wear a facemask?
A: If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Event Cancellations

Q: Should I go to church/party/community gathering/bar?
A: Right now, federal and state guidelines recommend staying home if possible and limiting time in public places as precautions associated with social distancing. The more we use social distancing techniques, the more we reduce the risk of the virus spreading. This is especially important for older people and those with underlying health conditions who are most vulnerable to the virus.

Price Gouging

Q: Where can I report Price Gouging?
A: On March 14, 2020, at 10:15 AM, Governor Kemp issued an Executive Order and declared a Public Health State of Emergency in the State of Georgia. In the Executive Order, the Governor recognized that it is necessary and appropriate to take action to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Georgia’s residents and visitors to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled. He further ordered that during preparation, response and recovery activities for this Public Health Emergency, price gouging of goods and services necessary to support Public Health would be detrimental to the social and economic welfare of the citizens of this State. Accordingly, he enacted price gouging controls for the State of Georgia. If you see price gouging, please report it on this link: http://consumer.ga.gov/form/price-gouging/step1/price-gouging-form

State of Georgia Hotline

There is a state of Georgia hotline people can call with questions or if they think they may have been exposed: 1-844-442-2681
Again, if you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up to an emergency room or healthcare facility unannounced.

 

Civility Series 2 – Power of Social Media

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 | 7:00 PM | SANCTUARY

The Skidaway Island Presbyterian Church (SIPC) will sponsor its second forum on Civility on Wednesday, March 4 at 7pm in the sanctuary. The purpose of this gathering is to discuss how we live ethically in this new age of social media. The objective is to identify the power and the problems of social media and to provide tools that can help us deal with it conscientiously and morally.

There will be three 10-12 minute “Ted Talk-Like” presentations by Sandy Mentzel, Amber Williams and Rabbi Robert Haas with The Rev. Dr. Jeff Garrison, pastor of SIPC as moderator.

Sandy Mentzel is a digital marketing and project coordinator at Hospice Savannah and founder of Savannah’s Social Media Breakfast. She earned a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.

Amber Williams is Public Affairs Manager of the Georgia Air National Guard and a podcaster. She studied video communication at Bowling Green State University.

Rabbi Robert Haas is the rabbi at Congregational Mickve Israel, as well as a stand-up comedian and user of Facebook. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and went to rabbinical school in Los Angeles.

The panelist’s presentations on the power of Social Media will be followed by an op en discussion, moderated by Rev. Jeff Garrison.  Questions from the audience will be encouraged.  Join us in what promises to be a lively discussion!

For any questions about the forum, call the church office at 598-0151.

* Nursery available.

SIPC Hosts Award-Winning Lecture Series

SIPC will broadcast via live stream one of the nation’s leading lecture and cultural art series in Liston Hall  from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.  Bring your lunch and a friend to this stimulating lecture series. We will  have tables set up for seating along with coffee, tea and water to drink.

Ann Compton, a 41-year veteran of the White house press corps who covered seven presidents during her tenure; Mitch Albom, an author, columnist, radio host, and philanthropist whose books have sold over 39 million copies and been translated into more than 45 languages; and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at NYU whose last two books were New York Times best-sellers, are among the impressive lineup of speakers.

The 15 speakers will offer informed perspectives on a wide range of today’s most relevant topics, including poverty and hunger, the global water crisis, immigration, mass incarceration, religious freedom, and big data’s inequality and threat to democracy.

SPEAKERS AND TOPICS

SIPC Organizes Support for Local Coast Guard

Skidaway Island Presbyterian church has a tradition of welcoming Joys and Concerns from its members during Sunday morning services. Recently Commander (CDR) Drew Behnke, a member of the United States Coast Guard, stood to announce that many of his fellow Coast Guard members were experiencing financial difficulties due to the extended government shutdown.

Members of the church’s Mission Committee put their heads together to come up with a plan to support those in need. Working closely with CDR Behnke, the idea emerged to purchase individual gift cards, not to exceed $50, for distribution among the 420 Coast Guard members within the coastal stations of Georgia. In less than a week, cards valued at over $3,400 were donated.

As the word spread among the island churches and throughout the larger community by way of The Landings Association website, the amount of support swelled to over $5,000 and 1700 hotdogs.

SIPC Welcomes Brendan Mungwena

Brendan Mungwena is a Zimbabwe exchange student studying macro economics at Armstrong State University, thanks to the Georgia Rotary Student Program, and was a guest speaker at SIPC on January 28. Brendan received a warm welcome from his American host family, the Eskews – Austin, Kay and Sam.

Click HERE to read Brendan’s testimony.
Click HERE to read about Brendan in the January 19 issue of the Skinnie magazine.

 

A Message from Union Mission

Patricia Youngquist, Executive Director of Union Mission, spoke to the SIPC congregation during the Worship service on Sunday, January 13. The following is her message:

Homelessness is a growing problem, not just in Savannah but across America. The need for help, for supportive services, for a hand up out of homelessness, is great. Last year, over 4,500 men, women, and children were homeless in Chatham County. That could be for a day, a week or longer. Right here in Chatham County, on any given day, there are approximately 1,000 people living without a stable home. These people could be in emergency shelters, on the street or under bridges, in motels, in their cars, or couch surfing with friends and relatives.

Union Mission began 80 years ago as the dream of a man of faith. Our founder, the Reverend George Akins, came to Savannah from Toccoa Falls Bible College in the north Georgia mountains. The suffering he saw on the streets around him during the Great Depression inspired him to create a place of hope and help that would touch the lives of those most in need.

His dream has been changing lives in Savannah ever since. Each year, hundreds of men, women, and children come to Union Mission looking for a beacon to light their way to a new life. Here they find safe beds, hot food, and the help they need to rebuild their lives. Many of them tell us that we are the first place that truly gave them a hand up out of homelessness into a better tomorrow.

Union Mission works to change lives by creating an environment where individuals can thrive and lives can be rebuilt. The program at the heart of what we do is our Emergency Services Program. Our two facilities, Grace House for men and Magdalene House for women with children, offer 90 days of housing and supportive services, including mental health care, employment and training support, and dedicated staff trained to address the specialized needs of individuals and families recovering from homelessness. Our goal is to help them leave homelessness and transition to safe, stable housing.

In 2016, (we are still gathering our 2017 stats) we served 474 people. In doing so we provided over 28,000 nights of shelter, served over 84,000 meals and helped over 300 people find employment. We helped over 200 people find stable housing. .

Union Mission is a place of second chances. It is a place for those who are weary to find rest, for those who are ready to find a fresh start, and above all a place where hope lives on. You can see it in the faces of the people we serve and hear it in their stories.

One such story is the story of Niaisha. After ending a 15 year relationship with her children’s father, Niaisha moved to Savannah from Cleveland to be closer to her family. She soon discovered that her family was not going to be able to support her in a way that she had thought they could.

Niaisha reached out to Union Mission and within a few days there was a room for her and her two children at Magdalene House. Beyond just providing them a safe place to sleep, Union Mission provided intensive case management, connecting Niaisha to counseling, child care assistance and affordable housing in the community.

Despite the struggles she encountered, Niaisha was determined to create a better life for herself and her two children. Within 90 days, Niaisha moved from Magdalene House to her own apartment, a safe space where she and her family could continue their journey to a brighter future.

Today, Niaisha works at the Georgia Ports Authority and both of her children are honor roll students. She is also enrolled in a program that will enable her to purchase her own home in two years.

Niaisha said, “Supporting Union Mission is not just helping one, two or three people; it’s helping generation after generation. By Union Mission helping me, they’re creating a legacy through my children.”

I’m humbled when I hear women like Niaisha and others express their gratitude for the help they received at Union Mission. But the work we do would not be possible without the generous support of people just like you – men and women of faith who are committed to doing what Jesus did – accepting people where they are, loving them, and extending the gift of grace to those in need.

You can extend that grace in a variety of ways. You can join us as volunteers, as financial partners, or as prayer supporters. Your support as a volunteer can help bring the light of hope to mothers at our Magdalene House working to build a better life for their children, or lift the life of a man at Grace House who feels forgotten by the world. With your help as financial partners, we can continue to provide a safe place for those who have nowhere else to turn. As prayer partners you will under-gird with love and grace the work we do each day.

Celebrating 40 Years

Video created by Eleanor Graham.

SIPC Welcomes Rev. Dr. Carl B. Smith

Rev. Dr. Carl B. Smith is the Chair of the College of Theology and Program Director for the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Savannah, GA, campus of South University.

He has served nine years in pastoral ministry and over twenty years in theological education, both as a faculty member and administrator. Carl has earned a Master of Divinity degree from Temple Baptist Theological College in Chattanooga, TN with a focus upon the New Testament.  He has also earned a Masters of Art and a PhD in ancient history from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Rev. Smith loves to study the historical background and documents of late Judaism and early Christianity. His research field is early church history with a particular focus on Gnosticism and Ignatius of Antioch. He has published a book on the origins of Gnosticism, entitled No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins (Hendrickson, 2004), and several chapters in edited volumes.

Rev. Smith is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church (ACNA) and has been an active churchman throughout his academic career. He is the husband of Debby (36 years!), father of five grown children, and grandfather to six awesome grand kids.

Listen to the sermons below:

FEB 18 2018



JAN 29 2017