After four years without a pastor, East Sedalia Baptist Church has a new minister who plans to involve the church in additional community activities.

Pastor Tim Smith and his wife of 37 years, Melody, took pastorship at the church April 1. Smith said, Wednesday from his office, they arrived from Baldwin County, Alabama, which is between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.  

The Smiths have three grown children and three grandchildren. The couple’s oldest son and wife live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, their younger son and wife live in Birmingham, Alabama, and their daughter lives in Foley, Alabama.  

Although their children are in different states, Smith said he felt God called him to Sedalia and to the Midwest.

“When we were looking at the church, we saw the church had been without a pastor for quite a few years,” he said. “We saw it as an opportunity to come, and to serve, and to see what God could do, and see if we can help. We decided at this point in our lives this was the place that God was calling us to go.”

He said while looking for a pastor, East Sedalia has done well and maintained a strong children’s ministry.

“They reach out, and bring them by van and have a large Wednesday night service,” he said. “They really kept things going.”

Smith said his plans are to “strengthen” the church, to focus on prayer, and on community fellowship through small groups.

“Then, also ministry in the community,” he added. “I know the church has been very active in doing that over the years. I want to continue to reach out into this community. I know this community has had its share of difficulties.”

He plans to have the church become part of the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

“Starting in August, we’ll be one of the distribution locations,” he said. “Then, we are starting some new small groups for men and women, related to God’s Word and to community ministry as well.

“I think for me at this point, is just to build relationships and encourage the church,” he continued. “And look for opportunities to be involved in the community.”

Before coming to Sedalia, Smith, who has been in ministry for 30 years, participated in a chaplain residency in Pensacola and previously pastored for six years at Silverhill, Alabama. Smith has also ministered at various churches in Alabama and Indiana and also in Okinawa, Japan.

“I was serving with a church there, Koza Baptist Church,” he said. “Koza’s been an island since World War II. They serve mainly the American military.”

While serving there, he ministered to not only American military but also to the Japanese and provided English as a Second Language classes.

“It was a great opportunity for us, it was a blessing to be a part of it,” he noted.

Smith also feels blessed to be in Sedalia.

“The church is a good community of great people,” he said. “I really appreciate their service already. They have been very supportive and I just want to continue to strengthen and make sure we are effective in our outreach to the community.

“I’m excited to be here and look forward to seeing what God’s doing,” he continued. “I think our desire is to see what God is already doing here in this community and to join up in being involved in those things.”

East Sedalia Baptist Church, 1019 E. Fifth St., has Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. with worship at 10:30 a.m. along with a children’s service at 6 p.m. each Sunday. Wednesday services include a large children’s and youth service with a meal at 5:30 p.m., and service at 6 p.m., and an adult Bible study at 6 p.m. For more information call 660-826-3887 or visit www.esbchurch.com.

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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