Since January 2015, the Rev Dr Elijah Wade Smith has served as minister of Queen’s Park Govanhill. Elijah was born in Los Angeles to a large, working class family of Govanhill extraction. In his own words, he writes,
‘Over the last decade, I have experienced an exciting and unexpected journey from California to the West of Scotland, which in hindsight should be no surprise given what seems to be the custom of our mysterious God. I grew up as an atheist and converted to Christianity when I was a teenager. By the time I finished school it became clear to me that God had placed a specific calling on my life to serve in full time church ministry. I asked myself, What could be better than spending my full time vocation exploring God’s love and grace with a local church, and in turn, working with the people and resources of that local church in order to meet the practical needs of the community in order to share God’s love and grace?
‘That passion has driven me to pursue parish church ministry ever since, and the Church of Scotland is unlike any other church in Scotland because we are committed to our geographical parish model. Whether or not we’ve earned it, we have a unique place in Scottish culture. We are not simply the Church of Scotland, but also the Church for Scotland. We have this great privilege to be present in the community in an intimate way, walking through life alongside our neighbours. I suppose that’s what I see as the heart of ministry — as we walk with Jesus, we walk with one another and as we walk with one another, we walk with Jesus. I don’t have all the answers to life and faith, but ministry is far more than those things. All in all, it’s a very challenging calling, but rewarding in ways indescribable.
‘In the autumn of 2014, I first sensed a calling to the congregation and parish of Queen’s Park Govanhill. I was ordained and inducted in early 2015 and haven’t looked back. I am in love with the people in the congregation and parish of QPG and it is a great privilege and honour to serve God through helping to lead our church family in the work of the Kingdom.’
Email Elijah at firstname.lastname@example.org.