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Smith named Southern Seminary public relations director


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP–James A. Smith Sr. has been named director of public relations at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., having assumed his news duties August 1. Smith, who has served as director of news and information at Southern since January 1997, replaces David Porter, the new public relations director at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Jim Smith brings a rich background in journalism and deep experience in the work of our denomination to this new position,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “Furthermore, he combines a keen mind and a heart for what Southern Seminary represents. We gladly welcome him to this new position.”
Smith, 33, came to the Southern public relations staff from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., where he had served as director of news and information from 1995-97.
A native of Norfolk, Va., Smith has wide experience in Southern Baptist denominational life. In addition to his work at Midwestern, Smith was the first Washington, D.C., staff member of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, serving as director of government relations from 1989-95. He also served as a member of the Resolutions Committee at the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake City.
Before joining the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Smith worked two years as director of communications at the Republican Study Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Smith holds the bachelor of science degree from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas and is scheduled to complete the master of divinity degree at Southern Seminary in May 1999.
Smith and his wife, Linda, have been married for 11 years. They are parents to a 9-year-old daughter, Lauren, and a 7-year-old son, James Andrew, Jr. The Smiths are members of Hunsinger Lane Baptist Church in Louisville.
“It is a great honor and unique privilege to be asked to serve as director of public relations at Southern Baptists’ ‘mother seminary,'” Smith said. “God is blessing Southern Seminary in marvelous ways under the direction of President Mohler. With a world-class faculty, notable alumni and remarkable students, I am excited about the opportunity of helping inform Southern Baptists and the broader evangelical world about God’s work at Southern.”