On Thursday, August 19, Wesleyan College will welcome alumna Reverend Felecia Pearson Smith ’74 as the keynote speaker for the College's Opening Convocation.
A new member of Wesleyan’s board of trustees, Reverend Smith has established herself as a speaker, instructor, scholar, and community servant who facilitates women’s conferences, and speaks and preaches on a local and national level. Having dedicated herself to full-time ministry with her husband Pastor Michael A. Smith, she serves as the executive pastor of Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Reverend Smith has a legacy of outstanding accomplishments. After graduating from Wesleyan College, cum laude, with a bachelor of arts degree in religion, she entered the Candler School of Theology at Emory University where she earned a master of divinity degree. In 2005, she was honored by the Program of Black Church Studies at Emory University for being the first African American woman graduate of the School of Theology. In 2015, Reverend Smith was also honored by the Black Student Caucus of the Candler School of Theology and received the first “Felecia Pearson Smith Alumna Trail Blazer Award.” This award is now given every year to alumni who have displayed significant leadership in the church and the community.
A licensed and ordained minister of the Georgia Ministerial Assembly of the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana, Reverend Smith has served as the president/CEO of the Shenango Valley (PA) Urban League, Inc., during which time she programmatically and fiscally improved the organization. Reverend Smith’s career took a dynamic shift when she was appointed director of the Bonner Scholars Program, an endowed scholarship program at Spelman College for students who are involved in community service. Under her leadership, the program experienced growth of earnings which led to expansion and restructure. In 2004, Reverend Smith was appointed director of the new Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development, a position she held until 2008.
Reverend Smith continues to focus on emotional and spiritual health for women. She is the author of My Hair. . . My Marriage, a chronicle of her hair stories which coincides with her marriage. She is also the host of Authentic Conversations on Blog talk radio. Reverend Smith is known to be a distinct woman of great character, integrity, and grace. She believes her accomplishments were achieved with strength, balance, and faith, and that “God who began a good work in you will bring it to completion through Christ Jesus.”