Aldersgate United Methodist Church - Molino, Florida
Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Imagine a Church That's the Hope of the World
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Rev. Charles R. Smith, Jr.
1995- 1996

Rev.  Charles R. Smith, Jr. arrived at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in 1995after a year of intensive travel and study in the Beeson Doctor of Ministry program at Asbury Theological Seminary.  Charles, his wife Shirley, and their children, Nathan, Allison, Christen and Stephen, served in Molino for just one year, but during that time they made lifelong friends and saw the church grow in new ways.

Perhaps the most striking event was the formation of the Praise Band and the growth of the evening service at Aldersgate.  Starting with the gift of a complete portable sound system by a church member, musicians and vocalists from within and without the church congregation came together on Sunday evenings to provide contemporary worship for the growing evening service.  Charles and his son Nathan both contributed on the guitar, and the whole family added their vocals to the mix.  Jeannie and Bill Nowlin were also part of the praise band!

Charles and Shirley were also active with the youth group.  The youth group was probably at its largest and strongest with the Smith family’s involvement.   At that time, a core group including Rohn Spinks, Amanda Nicholson, Patrick and Chris Walz, Jonathan Nowlin, Mathew Floyd, Amanda and Erin Boyd, Stacy and Amanda Monahan, Jeb Ragsdale, Trey Yuhasz, Courtney and Ryan Abbott, and Nathan, Allison, and Christen Smith livened the church, bringing many friends as well.

The Smiths remember their time at Aldersgate with fondness.  They are grateful to God for the friends they have met and for the joy in ministry in which they have shared.  They wish all the joy of this historic celebration in the life of Aldersgate for now and for the future. 

After his year at Aldersgate, Charles went on to complete the dissertation requirements for the Beeson Doctor of Ministry program.  He was awarded his degree in 1999, and went on to serve congregations large and small, including Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile, where he was responsible for the introduction of their contemporary worship service, and Woodbine UMC in Pace, Florida.

Charles and Shirley Smith relocated this past June to the Tennessee Annual Conference., where Dr. Smith serves Hartsville First UMC in Hartsville. 

The four Smith children are now all grown. Nathan, pastor at The Refuge, and his wife Tamsey live in Concord, North Carolina.  They have three children: Ella, Eoin, and Eden.  Allison and her husband, Christian Jolls, call Walla Walla Washington home and have two children, Banner and Brenna. Christen and her husband, Marek  Vesely, reside in Huntersville, North Carolina, and are parents of Kaylyn and Emily. Finally, the youngest, Stephen, is engaged to Kandace Lovitt, and they intend to live in Middle Tennessee upon his completion of duty from the United States Navy.