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TV journalist Lawrence Smith named v.p. for Southern Seminary communications

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–An award-winning television journalist with nearly 25 years of experience has been named vice president of communications for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Lawrence Smith, a reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Ky., for the past 11 years, has accepted the cabinet-level position at the Louisville, Ky., seminary and will begin serving in his new post March 26. He will replace James A. Smith Sr., who left his position as director of public relations to become executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness in February.

As vice president of communications — which is a newly created position — Smith will oversee the seminary programs of public relations and media services. He will become the first African American to serve in a vice presidential position at any Southern Baptist seminary.

“I have spent the better part of 25 years in TV news and I have truly enjoyed it,” Smith said. “But the opportunity to serve God through Southern Seminary was too good to pass up. I know God has led me here and I’m excited to be a part of what he is doing here.”

Smith has received various awards during his media career, including the 2000 first place award for continuing coverage from the Louisville Society of Professional Journalists. A 1979 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, he has worked at six television stations in three states.

Smith has been a news reporter/anchor for WHAS, an ABC affiliate, since 1990. From 1988-90, he worked as an executive producer at KRIV-TV in Houston. From 1986-88, Smith served at First Baptist Church, Houston — then pastored by John Bisagno — where he produced and directed the church’s nationally syndicated television broadcast. Smith also has worked at television stations in Lexington, Ky., and Knoxville, Tenn.

“Lawrence Smith is a man of great gifts and deep conviction,” Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said. “He combines communications expertise with a clear message, and we look forward to his service at Southern Seminary.”

During his stint with WHAS, Smith often visited the campus to interview Mohler for news stories. Smith said such interviews gave him a sense of admiration for the Southern Seminary president and faculty.

“I’ve had long conversations with Dr. Mohler on and off-camera and we share a passion for impacting the culture with the truth of the gospel,” Smith said. “It will be an honor for me to work with him and for him. The Southern Seminary faculty represents a wealth of Christian wisdom that needs to be heard. I’m looking forward to working with the staff to expose that wisdom to a wide audience.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LAWRENCE SMITH.

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  • Michael Foust