Erskine Theological Seminary and First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C., will welcome Dr. Robert Smith, Jr. as speaker for this year’s John L. Girardeau Lectures, which are scheduled for May 2-3.
Smith’s first lecture, “The Neglected God,” will be delivered Wednesday, May 2, at 6 p.m. in Jackson Hall at First Presbyterian Church. The lecture will be preceded by a supper at 5 p.m. ($5 per person) in Jackson Hall, and followed by a brief question-and-answer session. His second lecture, “The Blessedness of Secondness,” will be presented Thursday, May 3, at 12 noon at The Bridge, Room 125, 1400 Lady Street.
Smith holds the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, where he teaches Christian preaching. He served previously as Carl E. Bates Associate Professor of Christian Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he received the 1996 Findley B. Edge Award for Teaching Excellence. An ordained Baptist minister, he served as pastor of New Mission Missionary Baptist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, for 20 years, earning his Ph.D. during his tenure.
A contributing editor for a study of Christian ministry in the African American church, Preparing for Christian Ministry, and co-editor of A Mighty Long Journey, Smith is also an editor of Our Sufficiency Is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor. He is the author of Doctrine That Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life, which was selected as the winner of the 2008 Preaching Book of the Year Award by Preaching magazine and 2009 Preaching Book of the Year Award by Christianity Today’s preaching.com. In 2010, Preaching magazine named Doctrine That Dances one of the 25 most influential books in preaching for the last 25 years. His latest book, The Oasis of God: From Mourning to Morning—Biblical Insights from Psalms 42 and 43, was published in 2015.
Smith has spoken at more than 100 universities, colleges, and seminaries in the United States and in countries throughout the world.
For more information about the Girardeau Lectures, contact Crystal Tolbert at Erskine Theological Seminary’s Columbia campus by email at Tolbert@erskine.edu or by phone at 803-771-6180.
The Girardeau Lectures are named in honor of John Lafayette Girardeau (1825-1898), whose extensive pastoral and educational ministry among the slave population in Charleston, South Carolina, developed many African American leaders for the Church. He stood against segregation in the Southern Presbyterian Church during Reconstruction and became one of the South’s leading theologians and educators. While a student at Columbia Seminary from 1845 to 1848 he attended First Presbyterian Church, and in 1875 returned to Columbia after pastoring in Charleston. As Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology in the Seminary, Girardeau supplied the pulpit of First Presbyterian Church.