This month we hear from John Smith, a 1985 graduate of Biblical Seminary. John and I were students together at Biblical, but I haven’t spoken to him since those days. Once in awhile, I would hear John’s name and something good usually followed. John was a senior pastor while he went through seminary, and I always appreciated his discipline and hard work, all the while being able to laugh and have a good time. John is the same today working hard furthering the mission of Jesus and having a good time in the process.
What years did you attend Biblical?
I attended Biblical 1979-1985 (jammed three years into five!) earning an MA and MDiv.
What have you been doing since then?
Since graduating Biblical, I have pastored churches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and now Lancaster (Grace Church at Willow Valley) where I will mark my 25th year on September 1st. In addition, I was part of Walk Thru the Bible's North American faculty from 1986 to 2011, have served as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College from 1995 to the present, and worked as a volunteer chaplain for our local police department in West Lampeter Township. I also currently serve on two boards: Hebrew Christian Fellowship and Grace College and Seminary, where I earned my DMin. in 2002.
My wife, Sharon and I have been married for 36 years and enjoy living near our three adult children with their families (6 grandkids).
Tell a favorite memory from your Biblical days.
As I was studying in the library for the final in OT Poets with Mr. Harding, a fellow student asked me about my notes from the class discussion on the textual problem at the end of Psalm 23. This student had borrowed my notes and photocopied them since he had missed the class that day. He showed me my notes ... and my note taking became increasingly hard to decipher. As I recall, I was really tired that day. So I simply shrugged and told him not to worry ... that Mr. Harding would never ask about that! Well ... the last question on the exam was to explain that particular textual problem. My friend was not comforted one bit when I told him I missed the question too!