The Reverend Doctor Wallace Charles Smith is the Senior Minister of the historic Shiloh Baptist Church, one of the oldest African American churches in Washington, DC.
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Smith graduated from Villanova University in 1970. He received the Master of Divinity degree (1974) and the Doctor of Ministry degree (1979) from the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Dr. Smith’s ministerial career includes the pastorate of two outstanding congregations: First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, Nashville, Tennessee (1985-1991) and Calvary Baptist Church, Chester, Pennsylvania (1974-1985), where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., served as student intern while attending Crozer Baptist Seminary.
In addition to his pastoral career, Dr. Smith served as professor of the Practice of Ministry at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee (1988-1991) and assistant professor of Practical Theology at the former Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (1979-1985), where he was the first African American to be appointed to full time faculty status. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Howard Divinity School and Wesley Theological Seminary, both of Washington, DC. In 2005, Dr. Smith was appointed the first African American president of the Palmer Theological Seminary (formerly Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary).
Dr. Smith has traveled extensively and has preached in South Africa, Argentina, Zimbabwe and Cuba. He served as a member of a reconciliation team that worked to bring black and white Baptists together in South Africa, and participated in a successful evangelistic tour to Cuba, where he lectured and preached in seminaries and churches. He is a longtime member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., where he has taught leadership courses, led seminars and served in various capacities.
Among his many community responsibilities, Dr. Smith is a member of the 1994 Class of Leadership Washington, a board member of the Interfaith Council of Washington, DC and Vicinity, the Mayor’s Advisory Council and serves as President of the Clergy for Community Wealth and Preservation. He has received numerous invitations to attend White House functions, including the signing of the historic Israel-Palestine Peace Accord in 1993.
Dr. Smith is married to the former G. Elaine Williams, an attorney. They have one daughter, Dr. Christen Anne Smith (Clayton Souza) and two grandsons, Olakayo and Hojidiamazy.