By Barbara Mizell, Religion Editor
The Picayune Item
His name is William Gary Smith Sr., by occupation he is a reverend in the Baptist Church. To all those who know and love him he is “Bro. Gary” and in my humble opinion he is the earthly manifestation of the definition of a pastor.
Bro. Gary has faithfully led the congregation of First Baptist Church of Carriere for 48 years, and through his leadership developed many outreach ministries. Over his tenure he has established a bus ministry, youth skating ministry, a television Bible ministry, and the widely-distributed weekly Bible Quiz.
Knowing it is not by his power alone he has accomplished this, he has not forgotten to acknowledge God and those who have helped throughout the years. He often hosts “Appreciation” services: services to honor firefighters , police officers, community leaders, and city and state dignitaries. The yearly Mr. and Mrs. Inspiration awards honor someone in the community who truly inspires others through their thoughts and actions.
Bro. Gary has been there for his flock through thick and thin, good times and bad, sickness and health, and through the grace of God he continues despite physical problems which have limited his mobility.
When God calls a pastor to the place he should be, it is a miraculous event. Bro. Gary, I believe, was truly called to be the pastor of First Baptist Church of Carriere, and since that day he has not left the church’s side.
Ever humble, Bro. Gary does not like to focus attention on himself. He would rather give others praises for their accomplishments. He has often given thanks for his congregation, staff, and family, but first and foremost to God for his many blessings.
His care and comfort is not limited to his congregation only. He has helped many who do not belong or attend his church. I have never known him to turn down an earnest need without trying to figure out a solution. Even on his walker, he still continues to do what he can to help others, lead his congregation, and promote the cause of Christ.
A pastor does not forsake his post easily. He is dedicated and determined to finish the job until the one who called him says it’s time to go.
I have no doubt that Bro. Gary will do just that. He doesn’t have a choice, because, as a pastor, he is dedicated to doing the will of God until God tells him he’s through.
The Rev. William Gary Smith Sr., is a preacher, a reverend, a comforter, a friend, but most of all he is a pastor. First Baptist Church of Carriere is indeed fortunate to have a pastor like Bro. Gary as a shepherd.