Mayowa Reynolds

"I met Dr. Smith as a student at Ashland Theological Seminary. I had heard she was joining the faculty of Ashland. When I read her credentials as an African American woman who received her Mdiv from Howard and PhD from Harvard, I was impressed, excited and anxious to meet her and take her class. She did not disappoint. I was immersed in the most scholarly, womanist, humanistic, exciting class of my seminary experience to date. I'll never forget it, the class was Old Testament. My mind and heart was open to her expertise. Her lectures filled me with affirmations of my innermost self reflected in the interpretation of the text. I felt validated, rooted and sure that the sacred text was inclusive, complex, layered and always pointed to the power and promise of God and God's activity in the lives of people. Her lecture style was inspiring, motivating and thought provoking. She pushed me to a growing edge, she inspired me to want to investigate more and she guided me with dignity to be the best student I could be.

Inspiring, motivating, thought provoking, growing edge, dignity, passion and grace are all words that I would use to describe her preaching of the Good News of Christ Jesus. Dr. Smith will take the text on a scholarly journey and meet the people directly in the secret closet of their lives, only to encourage them out for a new prospective of how The Lord is speaking and moving in the world today as a risen savior, redeemer and liberator. She confronts the issues of injustice and places them in the gospel narrative of faith and works. She challenges the people to know, see, hear and feel the power of life in Christ. I have witnessed her sermons on more than one occasion and they always stay with me as a new and fresh interpretation of the sacred text for the purpose of living under grace and inclusive of all people."

-Rev. Mayowa Lisa Reynolds, Minister/Educator/Artist