Phillip and Haylee Smith

PORTALES (BNM) – First Baptist Church, Portales, called Phillip Smith as its new pastor. Smith will preach for the first time in Portales Sunday, Sept. 27.

Smith previously pastored First Baptist Church, Socorro (2014-2020). Before that, he pastored Barker’s Chapel Baptist Church, Friendship, Tennessee (2013-2014).

Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and a minor in Business from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee (2014). He earned a Master of Divinity from Gateway Seminary, Ontario, California (2019).

Born in Lebanon, Tennessee, and raised in a Christian home, Smith struggled with family issues. At the age of 13, he attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes kick-off rally, repented of his sins and gave his life to Christ. From that time on, God worked at developing his leadership skills. Serving as FCA President the following year allowed him to lead devotions in front of his peers. At age 14, Smith felt God tugging him towards a life in ministry. In high school, Smith attended multiple leadership conferences. He was a leader in his youth group, where he could preach and lead a small group. Smith knew that if he did anything other than serving the Lord through ministry, he would be miserable. 

Smith received the Union University R.G. Lee Ministry Leadership Award and was Gateway Seminary’s representative speaker at the Association of Theological Schools Biennial Meeting in 2018. He served as the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Men’s Conference President in 2020. In Socorro, he served on the Socorro County Health Council and was a speaker for multiple city events.

Smith married his wife, Haylee, on June 22, 2014.

Daniel Porter is a staff writer with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and GoBNM.com, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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