Our Pastor

The Reverend Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Jr. is the proud pastor of First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, which he began serving in September 2010. He is the son of the late Reverend Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Sr. and Dr. Alice C. Smith Risby; he was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and reared in Nashville, Tennessee. He was licensed to preach in 1974 and in 1979 he was ordained here at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, during the thirty-three-year tenure of his father’s serving as pastor. Dr. Smith received a B.A. degree in Music from Morehouse College in 1976. He later attended Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1983. In 1993, he received a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he was a Proctor-Moss Fellow. After serving for six years as pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Smith accepted the pastorate of Mount Olive Baptist Church (Knoxville) in 1991. During his nineteen-year pastorate at Mount Olive, the church experienced tremendous spiritual, numerical, and financial growth. Among the ministries established at Mount Olive is a pre-school called the Garden of Discovery Learning Center, and a music school called The Mount Olive Music Academy.  Dr. Smith is the former Executive Director of the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., having served in that capacity from 1997 through 2013. He is currently serving or has formerly served on various boards and positions on the local, state, and national levels. He is a member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Boule). Dr. Smith has three children: Sharanda Nechole Smith, Valerie Taneece Hayes, and Kelly Miller Smith III. He also has seven grandchildren: Evan Kayland Smith, Kyra Laneece Hayes, Darrell Lamont Hayes Jr, Lance Oliver Molette, Chloe Kellen Smith, Luke Omar Molette and Isaac Carrington Smith. Dr. Smith also has two great-grandchildre, Kazii Maceo Johnson and Kalli Johnson.  In his spare time, Dr. Smith enjoys traveling, playing sports, baking sweets, playing Scrabble, and bowling. His favorite Scripture verses are Isaiah 40:31 and Philippians 4:13, and his favorite hymn is “Blessed Assuranc