Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard
L.A. Woman of the Gospel
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
LAS: What is your name and what is your ministry?
NSP: My full name is Damali Najuma Smith-Pollard. Currently, I serve as pastor of Family Ministries at Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR). In addition, I founded Word of Encouragement ministry that hosts a weekly prayer group and quarterly ministry programs.
LAS: How long have you been in this ministry?
NSP: I have been in ministry 16 years. For me, ministry began long before I officially accepted the ‘call.’ It began as a young adult teaching the children in Sunday School, and serving at First A.M.E. Church with the Women’s Missionary Society, as a door-keeper (Usher), singing with the Unity choir, and learning what it meant to be a worshipper.
LAS: What role has God or your faith played in your ministry?
NSP: God is the central reason that I’m even in ministry. My faith simply informs every thing I do in ministry. I’m here because of God. I serve because I believe God.? So, whatever capacity God opens up for me to share, because I believe, I will share the message of the gospel. This is not limited to the pulpit. If a person finds me at the mall and they want to pray, accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, or talk about His Word to get clarity, let’s do it! ?
LAS: What is one of the most memorable moments during your ministry?
NSP: There are too many to select one or two. For me, each time the Lord allows me to be instrumental in a person’s life, whether through preaching, praying, sitting with a grieving family member, visiting someone in the hospital or simply taking the time to listen and someone is encouraged or helped, it’s an honor and it’s all memorable!
LAS: What are you working on now and what are some of your future goals?
NSP: In addition to my work at COR and my own ministry, I have the coolest opportunity to be working with my pastor and mentor, Dr. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray at the USC Murray Center. Also, in 2013, I will graduate from United Theological Seminary with my Doctorate in Ministry.