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Pastor Emeritus Charles Smith and
First Lady Evelyn Smith
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
When Rev. Charles and Mrs. Evelyn Smith united with Shackelford Miracle Temple (SMT) Church of God in Christ, the year was 1959 and they both served in the Music Department. Now, 52 years later, they are preparing to retire as Pastor Emeritus and First Lady of this South Los Angeles ministry.
In honor of their dedicated service, SMT has planned a weekend of events starting Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m., through Sunday, March 27, at 3:30 p.m., and Elder Chane and Lady April Smith are inviting the community to participate in the three-day salute.
"On Friday, we begin our celebration with a musical featuring "Eartha" Moore", our guest mistress of ceremonies, recording artist Keith Pringle, and the SMT Sanctuary Choir and band. We will also recognize Lady Evelyn Smith who gave 50 years to the Music Department including 28 years as choir director and 35 years as congregational pianist," said Elder Smith, the newly appointed pastor of SMT as well as a twin son of the Pastor Emeritus and First Lady.A retirement luncheon takes place Saturday at 11a.m., at the Quiet Cannon Restaurant, 901 Via San Clemente Avenue in Montebello. Bishop Joe L. Ealy, Jurisdictional Prelate of the COGIC Southern California First Jurisdiction, will be the keynote speaker with music provided by the Wade Sisters and the SMT Band. Dr. Delores Lakey Stewart will also participate with a special tribute to the honorees.
"Sunday, at 3:30 p.m., will be Homecoming Day at SMT and we are expecting a powerful service. The SMT Sanctuary Choir will be singing and the SMT Alumni Choir will be one of the featured attractions. Bring your ‘Shoutin' Shoes' and plan to join us," said Elder Smith.
During their life at SMT, Pastor Emeritus and First Lady Smith co-labored in several capacities such as pianist and organist, choir directors, and ministers of music. Over a 20-year span, they served simultaneously as Assistant Junior Church Pastor and Assistant Junior Church Mother, followed by Junior Church Pastor and Junior Church Mother. In 1993, Bishop Charles E. Blake, currently presiding bishop of the COGIC, Inc., appointed them as spiritual leaders of SMT.
"We are highly blessed to have all of our six children in ministry with us at SMT, along with their spouses and grandchildren," said Pastor Emeritus and First Lady Smith.
SMT is located at 6025 South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. For information on the Retirement Weekend Celebration, call the SMT church office at (323) 750-8370.