Today begins a very special event here at Central, our Spring Gospel Meeting with Billy Smith. The theme for the week is Faith Conquers Fear. A great deal of planning and preparation has gone into this series, and I hope that you will be a part of every service. Here is the full schedule for the week:
5/8 Sunday 9:45 AM: “Your Sins He Will Remember Against You No More”
5/8 Sunday 10:45 AM: “Do Not Fear!”
5/8 Sunday 6:00 PM: “When You Feel Insignificant”
5/9 Monday 7:00 PM: “Right or Left at Oak Street?”
5/10 Tuesday 7:00 PM: “When Life Tumbles In, What Then?”
5/11Wednesday 7:00 PM: “Draw Near to the Throne of Grace”
5/12 Thursday 7:00 PM: “What Will Heaven Be Like?”
Billy has been with us for previous meetings, but not since 2017. I am excited that we are finally getting back to more normal scheduling of our Gospel Meetings following the Covid epidemic. From what I’m hearing from other congregations who are having meetings again, people are ready, and attendance numbers are up for such events. Gospel meetings have traditionally been a time of great spiritual interest and edification, and they also can be a good opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to hear the gospel. This will be a very “traditional” meeting in its format, and should be especially helpful to our congregation and those who visit.
If you have never met Billy Smith, or heard him preach, you are in for a treat. I first came to know him while I was at Freed-Hardeman in the late 1970’s. At that time, he was involved in university advancement, and eventually served as the Dean of the School of Biblical Studies from 1993 to 2018. Billy is always kind, well prepared, and very appropriate in handling God’s word. I think you will find this special series very encouraging and inspirational.
Let me tell you a little more about Billy’s background, in order to deepen your appreciation for him and for this special opportunity. Billy is a native of Woodbury, TN, (he still subscribes to the Canon Courier, the local newspaper!). He has earned degrees from Freed-Hardeman, David Lipscomb, & Harding Universities. His service to Freed-Hardeman spans 47 years. Since 1978 in the College of Biblical Studies there, he has taught hundreds of students to love and respect the word of God and to proclaim it to others. Among other classes, he has taught Life of Christ, Acts of the Apostles, and Preparation and Delivery of Sermons every semester for more than 40 years. Many of the current gospel preachers in our brotherhood were trained by “Brother Billy” Smith.
While he was teaching full-time at FHU, he also preached weekly at the Christian Chapel church of Christ, the Estes church of Christ, and the Henderson church of Christ. He remains a popular speaker for gospel meetings and homecoming events in churches across the country.
It is a special treat also to have with us his lovely wife, Joan, to whom Billy has been married for 50 years. Joan, now retired, was an excellent school teacher for many years, and she is a highly qualified speaker for ladies days and similar teaching events. Billy and Joan have two children, Scotty and Monica, and four precious grandchildren.
Billy Smith is the personification of grace and kindness. He makes every person he meets feel important and special. He is a mentor and counselor to many, and his influence will be a lasting one. It is truly a privilege to have him and Joan with us for this special series. Let’s all make every effort to be present for each session!
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.