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In Recognition Of Rev. Dr. Kenny Smith And His 25 Years Of Service To First Baptist Church Of Vienna

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Reverend Dr. Kenny Smith and to celebrate his 25 years of service to the First Baptist Church of Vienna.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Pastor Smith earned his Bachelor's Degree in 1977, his Master of Divinity Degree from Howard University in 1987, and his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Virginia Union University School of Theology in 1992.

In December 1986, Pastor Smith arrived in Vienna, Virginia, with his wife, the Reverend Dr. Mary Smith, and he assumed leadership of the First Baptist Church. A relatively small church at the time, the membership of First Baptist was fewer than 200. Under his guidance and stewardship, First Baptist has witnessed significant growth and now has more than 30 active ministries, which provide spiritual guidance for its members and the entire community. I have had the pleasure of worshipping at First Baptist Church of Vienna on many occasions, and I always have been moved by Pastor Smith's words of inspiration and faith.

Like so many men of faith, Pastor Smith does not confine his dedication to within the walls of the sanctuary. He has ministered to the poor and disadvantaged in Nigeria, Ghana, Haiti, Coahoma, Maryland, South Carolina and Biloxi, Mississippi. First Baptist Church of Vienna contributed more than $53,000 to aid the victims of the Haitian earthquake and donated 1,000 bottles of multiple vitamins to aid the medical effort. Partnering with a sister church, Pastor Smith and the First Baptist Church family assisted with the finance of two Habitat for Humanity homes, contributing in excess of $42,000 for each home. He has established a Federal Credit Union with assets of more than $1 million, which provides members with safe and fair financial services.

Pastor Smith has long been recognized as a leader in faith and community service. He serves or has formerly served as president of the Baptist General Convention, president of the Fairfax County Branch of the NAACP, moderator of the NOVA Baptist Association, adjunct professor at Howard Divinity School and Wesley Theological Seminary, board member of the First Baptist Church of Vienna Federal Credit Union, board member of the Vienna Church Coalition for Housing, board member of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, and as a trustee of Virginia Union University.

His many accolades from the community include the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (Omicron Kappa Kappa) 2006 Citizen of the year award; the James F. Jenkins Pillars of Faith Award (2005); Outstanding Service Award, Fairfax County Branch, NAACP (2004); the Dean's Pastor's Award, Howard University School of Theology (1999); the Outstanding Achievement in Religion Award, Howard University Alumni Club of Northern Virginia (1999); the Religious Affairs Award, Fairfax County Branch, NAACP (1998); the Outstanding Leadership Award, Northern Virginia Baptist Association (1998); Community Service Award, Horizon Community Outreach Group (1996); the Golden Eagle Award, Fairfax County School System (1994); the Award of Merit presented by the Old Dominion Bar Association (1994); the 1992 Human Rights Award presented by the Fairfax County Human Rights Commission (1993); the D. B. Barton Award in Pastoral Theology (1987); and the Joseph H. Jackson Award (1986) for Academic Excellence. He also was selected for Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities (1986/1987).

Pastor Smith does not only preach his faith; he lives his faith. He and his wife, Reverend Dr. Mary Smith, lead by example in their dedication to God, the community, and mankind, and I am proud to call them my friends.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating Rev. Dr. Kenny Smith on the occasion of his Silver Anniversary as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Vienna and in wishing him continued success.