St. James Presbyterian Church
Biography - Rev. Dr. Steven R. Smith
The Reverend Steve Smith comes to St. James from the Chicago suburb of Schereville, Indiana, where he has been serving as Pastor of the Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the previous six years. He brings nearly twenty-four years of experience, having been ordained to the ministry in 1982.
Steve is a native of Southern California, and spent his earliest years in Presbyterian Churches in Garden Grove and Laguna Beach. He is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR) with a major in psychology. Following his college years, he enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1981. He followed this with a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1982, where his focus was upon preaching and worship.
Steve's first call was to serve as Assistant/Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan, NJ (a suburb of New York City), where his primary responsibilities centered around the development of high school youth ministries and a program of visitation evangelism. During his five years of service there he met and married Nancy in 1985.
Following his term in Matawan, Steve was called to serve as Associate Pastor of the Southminster Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon, PA (a suburb south of Pittsburgh). His focus in this setting was on the development of member-centered ministries for the cultivation of new members and the recovery of inactive members. It was during those years (1988) that Steve and Nancy welcomed their daughter Corrina (Cory) into the world.
In 1990 Steve was called to serve as Pastor of the Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church, an historic congregation located in a changing rural environment southeast of Philadelphia (Elmer, NJ). A particular point of satisfaction there came in 1996 , when that congregation was one of six (out of 1177) in the Synod of the Northeast given the Excellence in Evangelism Award for increased worship attendance and enhancement of programming.
Since 2000, in his present setting, Steve's focus has been on the completion of his Doctor of Ministry Degree (awarded by Fuller Theological Seminary at the conclusion of the present academic quarter), with a dissertation project centering on vision discernment in the local congregation.
Steve's wife Nancy was a full-time faculty member at Purdue University Calumet (Hammond, IN), with a specialization in English composition. Their daughter Cory began classes at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) in August, 2006.