First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill pastor is Williamson College graduation keynote speaker

First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill pastor is Williamson College graduation keynote speaker

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Jr., pastor of First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill in Nashville, will be the keynote speaker for Williamson College’s May 18 graduation commencement celebration.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at Williamson College, 274 Mallory Station Road in Franklin.

Under Smith’s leadership, First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, refocused its ministries, streamlined the church’s structure and payed off $1.85 million in debt in less than five years. His focus now is on transforming the thinking of the church from membership to discipleship. The church also does mission work in Tanzania, East Africa, and has committed at least 10% of its budget for various mission initiatives.

Prior to his time at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, Smith served as pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Nashville and of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Knoxville.

Smith received a B.A. degree in music from Morehouse College and later attended Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, graduating with a master of divinity degree. He received a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he was a Proctor-Moss Fellow.

Smith currently serves on the boards of Alive Hospice, Vanderbilt Divinity School Board of Visitors and the Kelly Miller Smith Towers. From 1997 through 2013, he served as executive director of the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Founded in 1998, Williamson College (WC) is a non-profit, Christian liberal arts college that welcomes students of all ages and cultures, including non-traditional learners who are already in the workforce. WC offers associate, bachelor and master degrees and is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Classes meet one evening a week for five weeks. WC is not affiliated with a specific denomination and is guided by a 12-member board of trustees. For more information, visit

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