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Black Servants Network to honor Sid Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network will honor the late Sid Smith during its 13th annual meeting Sunday, June 21, at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.

Smith, executive director of the Black Servants Network, died April 8 in his sleep at his home in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Dr. Smith was a powerful and strong mentor of many in African American life who are serving in denominational ministries for the Southern Baptist Convention,” said Ken Ellis, president of the network and leader of the North American Mission Board’s people group/interfaith team.

“He was a courageous leader…. Dr. Smith taught us a strong sense of identity and to believe God called us to serve for such a time as this,” Ellis said.

A luncheon hosted by St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church will precede the 2 p.m. meeting.

“I’m extremely excited about the Black Servants Network coming to St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church June 21 for several reasons,” said Lincoln Bingham, pastor of the church and recipient in 2008 of the network’s Kennedy-Boyce Award winner for his work over a span of 50 years in racial reconciliation.

“I was in the origin of the Black Servant’s Network,” Bingham said. “I’m happy we’re a part of the Southern Baptist Convention and are able to make a servant leader’s contribution to the convention. Our church will be a very welcoming host…. We hope to lay out the red carpet.”

The 2009 edition of The Journal of African American Southern Baptist History is expected to be available, focusing this year on church planting and missions.

The Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network is a fellowship for individuals who work in associational, state convention and denominational entities, numbering about 250 in 2008, up from about 90 in 1996, the year the group was formed.
Karen L. Willoughby is managing editor of the Louisiana Baptist Message, online at www.baptistmessage.com.