Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor Emeritus of Allen Temple Baptist Church. Photo by Gene Hazzard.
“A Christian man should not be so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good,’’ was one of the core warnings that has relevance for Father’s Day, in a message delivered by Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor Emeritus of Allen Temple Baptist Church.
At his church’s leadership conference he challenged the community to boldly lead by example as mentors and role models. He called upon Christians, when faced with the issues of the disparity of educational and job training opportunities for men and boys of color, to lead youth to the teachings of Christ.
Several ministers and community leaders told the Post that Dr. Smith, Sr., though retired, is still considered the “father figure” and a “role model” for faith-based institutions throughout the bay area. Many said they would use Smith’s themes in their Fathers Day sermons to call upon about fathers to return home to support their children and families.
While standing in front of the church’s job-training center, which is named after him, Dr. Smith, Sr. said, “The entire community, especially the faith-based community, must get involved to offer better opportunities than glamorizing gangster lifestyles.”
Dr. Smith, Sr., looking rested with boundless energy, recently spent five months teaching at Gardner Webb University in North Carolina. He also has plans to teach at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. In July he will lecture at the Fuller Theological Seminary which is located on Oakland Avenue in Pasadena California.
The Smith interview was conducted by David R.Scott.