Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr., is the son of the late Mr. T. DeWitt Smith, Sr. and Mrs. Ernestine Smith. He was born in Chicago, IL and is a product of the Chicago Elementary and Secondary school system. He is a graduate of Judson College (Elgin, IL) with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Ashland Theological Seminary (Ashland, OH) with the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry Degrees. He is an inductee in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Morehouse College Board of Distinguished Preachers.
Dr. Smith was elected and installed as the 18th President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (PNBC) in its annual session held in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 2006. He has been a part ofthe PNBC family for over thirty-five years, and as an active member he has served the convention as instructor in the Congress of Christian Education, Chairman of the PNBC Board of Education and Publication, Dean of the Congress of Christian Education, and as 2nd and 1st Vice President of the Parent Body. He has served on various committees and will continue as a member/ex-official member of various PNBC Boards/Committees/Ministries, the World Council of Churches, the Baptist World Alliance, Executive Committee of the Baptist Joint Committee, and the World Council of Churches' Decade To Overcome Violence Committee.
In January 1992 he accepted the pastorate of West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA succeeding the late Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy. Dr Smith served as pastor for eleven years. As pastor, he led the church in an overall organizational restructuring, added and revitalized new and existing ministries. With the prayers and support of the congregation Dr. Smith led them in the completion of a 1.5 million dollar renovation of the sanctuary and church facilities. In 2003 he completed his tenure as West Hunter's pastor and was led by the Holy Spirit to plant the Trinity Baptist Church of Metro Atlanta located in Atlanta, GA where he serves as Senior Pastor. Dr. Smith also served as Pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church in Akron, OH for fourteen years, and the Progressive Baptist Church of Elgin, IL, as Pastor for seven years, where he and several pastors and community leaders were instrumental in advocating civil rights issues that resulted in the hiring of black administrators and counselors in the public school system.
Dr. Smith has preached and lectured extensively across the nation and internationally, having authored several books that benefit the local church and its ministries:
• Deacons In The Black Baptist Church
• Putting Laypeople To Work
• Membership Orientation Handbook
• New Testament Deacons In African-American Churches
• Training Trustees For Baptist Churches
• Deaconess On Duty
• Spiritual Gifts For Godly People
Currently, Dr. Smith serves as a board member for the Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Center (iTC), Chair of the Constitutional Ministry in the New Era Missionary Baptist State Convention of Georgia, Inc. (New Era), member of the Baptist Ministers' Union of Atlanta, and aN. A. A. C. P Life Member.
Previous leadership positions are: 2nd Vice, 1st Vice, and Moderator of the Atlanta Missionary Baptist Association, Moderator of the Atlanta Ecumenical Planning Committee for the Wodd Council of Churches US Conference Decade To Overcome Violence (DOV) 2004, Leader for the New Era Ministers Seminar (parent body) and the Ministers Division in the New Era Congress of Christian Education.
He also served as a member of the S.C.L.C. Church Response Committee on Stopping the Killings during the presidency of Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. While living in Ohio he served as President of the Ohio Progressive State Convention. He has received many citations, proclamations, and awards from various organizations and groups.
He and his lovely wife, Aretta A. Smith, are the parents of four children: Darin, Derrick, Tonya, and Tamara, and the grandparents of twelve.