I’m excited that Chaplain Ron Smith will be preaching at First Baptist this Sunday.
Over the past few years, Ron has become a good friend of our church. We met him in 2011 when a number of our high school students participated in a program called Urban Plunge. At the time, Ron was chaplain at the juvenile detention center in Omaha. He made a big impression on our group as he shared his testimony with us.
Since 2011, Ron has preached several times at First Baptist. Then, last summer, he served as camp pastor during our 3-day children’s camp at Twin Lakes. That proved to be such a good experience that our BYF director, Laurel Klitgaard, made arrangements for Ron to come each Wednesday this fall to do some teaching. He relates to the kids incredibly well and is able to proclaim God’s Word to them in a clear, memorable way.
Currently, Ron is working with a small group of people on the possibility of planting a church in inner-city Omaha. Perhaps if this comes to fruition, First Baptist Harlan will be in a position to offer assistance. There are certain things we do extremely well that would benefit a new church.
Ron has a remarkable story. He became a follower of Christ while in jail awaiting trial for armed robbery. At the time of his conversion, he vowed to serve God whether in prison or free (while obviously preferring the latter). It turned out that, although Ron was guilty of the crime, the prosecution witness could not make a positive ID and Ron was released. He’s been serving God ever since.
As I’ve gotten to know Ron, there are two things in particular that I really appreciate about him. The first is his love for people, especially broken & hurting people. He truly loves them and views every interaction as an opportunity to tell them about Jesus.
The other thing I appreciate is his humility. Recently, I challenged him in the area of his preparation for preaching & teaching. He received that so well, even though his speaking ability vastly exceeds mine.
“Who’d have thought” that God would bring Ron into our lives. I often tell him what a blessing he is to our church. Immediately, he turns that around and says what a blessing we are to him.
Just as God would have it!