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Smith, pastor at Allen Temple, to be baccalaureate speaker
STANFORD -- The Rev. J. Alfred Smith Sr., the senior pastor of the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, has been chosen to be the featured speaker at Stanford's annual baccalaureate service, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15.
The multi-faith celebration is held outdoors at the North Portal of the Inner Quad. No tickets are required. Typically, the event draws 4,000 to 5,000 worshippers, most of them graduating seniors and advanced degree students and their families.
The baccalaureate also features spiritual readings by Dean Robert Gregg of Memorial Church and student participants, music and singing. It is part of Stanford's 105th Commencement Weekend. This year's music will be provided by the Vintage Brass, Talisman and the Taiko Drummers. It is part of Stanford's 105th Commencement Weekend.
Smith's widely known church has grown from 1,000 members when he became pastor in 1970 to 4,000 members today. He recently was listed by Ebony magazine as one of the 15 greatest African American preachers in America, and the Oakland Tribune named him "outstanding citizen of the year."
He is a professor of preaching and Christian ministry at the American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and a visiting professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is president of the American Baptist Churches of the West, and is past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. He has held a number of academic posts, most recently as a guest lecturer at the School of Divinity at Duke University and the School of Divinity at Yale University.
A native of Kansas City, Mo., Smith earned his doctor of ministry from Golden Gate Seminary, and master's and bachelor's degrees from the Missouri School of Religion.
Smith has published more than 16 books, which are used by seminaries, Bible students, teachers and scholars worldwide. He has earned more than 125 awards, and has honorary doctorates from Western Baptist College and Inter-Baptist Theological Center.
Smith and the 25 community- and family-oriented programs he oversees at Allen Temple have been featured in numerous news stories in media including NBC's "Today Show," Christianity Today, Ebony, the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News and The American Baptist.
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