Reverend Michael A. Smith
Reverend Michael A. Smith has served as Pastor of the McGee Avenue Baptist Church since March 2006. Reverend Smith is a native of Berkeley, CA and a product of the Berkeley public school system. Reverend Smith continued his education at San Francisco State University where he earned his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations and Economics. While in Graduate School at San Francisco State, he received a Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Foundation Fellowship in 1994 to study for several months at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. The highlight of that journey came as he was asked by the Director of the Graduate Program to present a series of lectures on the political and economic impact of the end of the Korean War. Reverend Smith is also a graduate of the American Baptist Seminary of the West where he received both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Community Leadership. Reverend Smith is currently a doctoral student pursuing his PhD in the School of Public Service at Capella University. In addition to his many duties, Reverend Smith also serves as Adjunct Professor of Environmental Ethics at the American Baptist Seminary of the West at the Graduate Theological Union.
For 14 years, he was employed by East Bay Conservation Corps in Oakland, CA, serving as the Deputy Executive Director overseeing program budgets totaling over $12 million. From February 2002 thru January 2005, Reverend Smith served as Co-Pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in Oakland, CA under the leadership of Reverend Byron C. Williams. Reverend Smith previously served as the executive director of Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA) where he led congregation-based community organizing in 20 member congregations on issues ranging from community violence, education reform, immigration, citizenship, environmental justice and housing.
In 2013, he became the founding Executive Director of The Center for Food, Faith & Justice which serves as a faith-based non-profit arm of the church as a lead organization dedicated to the issues of environmental and food justice, health equity and economic development. Similarly, Reverend Smith currently serves as the President of the Berkeley Black Ecumenical Ministers Alliance (BBEMA) Organizing African-American Congregations in Berkeley on a variety of issues which impact the wider community. Reverend Smith has served as a consultant and advisor in the aforementioned areas as well as those of public policy with regard to welfare-to-work, after-school programming, affordable housing, youth development, urban agriculture and food security, allowing him to do extensive educational and professional travels in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
A tireless social justice advocate on behalf of children, youth and families, Reverend Smith remains passionate about issues which directly impact the most vulnerable members of society. From October 2006 - December 2012, Reverend Smith served as Coordinator of the Young Adult Project helping the City of Berkeley to re-organize its largest youth program. Similarly, Reverend Smith has served on the board of several community-based organizations including The American Baptist Seminary of the West, the EcoVillage Farm and Learning Center and City of Berkeley Children, Youth and Recreation Commission. Reverend Smith has also directed and/or supported several local initiatives in the City of Oakland and Alameda County on behalf of elected officials. Reverend Smith is a dynamic speaker, an inspirational revivalist, a vibrant workshop facilitator and community activist committed to diversity, equity and justice, who has the passion for serving the needs of the disregarded, the disenfranchised and the dispossessed as a social justice advocate. A dedicated community servant, his one true love is serving in the Gospel Ministry through his work at the McGee Avenue Baptist Church.