Pastor's Bio

Reverend Dr. Linwood M. Smith, Jr.Reverend Dr. Linwood M. Smith
Reverend Dr. Linwood M. Smith, Jr. was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on February 26, 1955. He was raised and presently lives in the Coatesville area community. He graduated from Coatesville Area Senior High School as an honor graduate. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts Education from Cheyney University in 1977. At Cheyney, Reverend Dr. Smith was recognized as one of four students graduating with highest honors. He completed his master’s work in 1990. Reverend Smith received his Secondary Principal’s Certificate from Penn State Great Valley Campus in 1993. Graduating in May of 2009, Reverend Dr. Smith received his Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster Pennsylvania on May 4, 2019. In his research, Reverend Dr. Smith, studied the role clergy plays in promoting health and wellness in the West-Mainline and Philadelphia Districts of the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. His dissertation was published May 2019 by ProQuest.

Reverend Dr. Smith is devoted to serving the school, community and church. He served the community as a teacher and administrator in the public-school system for 32 years. In the fall of 1977, he was hired by Superintendent Walter Hessinger to serve as an Industrial Arts teacher in the Downingtown Area School District, Pennsylvania. At Downingtown High School, he taught Drafting, Architectural Drawing, Photography and Shop Math. In 1993, Reverend Dr. Smith served as a visiting member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools during the evaluation of Upper Merion High School. During the summer of 1993, he was hired as an assistant principal and master scheduler at West Chester East High School in the West Chester Area School District, Pennsylvania. In August 1997, he was hired back in the Downingtown Area School District to serve as an assistant principal and master scheduler at the high school. He served in numerous capacities in the Downingtown Area School District. In 2007, he served as the Federal Program Administrator and Lead Principal at the Downingtown Education Center which eventually became the STEM High School in the Downingtown Area School District.

He assisted the Downingtown Area School District in the transition process of Downingtown High School to two high schools from 2001 to 2003 (Downingtown East and West). As the Principal of Downingtown East, East was recognized as one of the top high schools in the Philadelphia area. In addition, Downingtown East was a recipient of the Keystone Achievement Award for continuous improvement on the PSSA examinations by the Pennsylvania Department of Education during his tenure in the year 2007. In addition, he has served as an administrator in the Octorara Area School District in Atglen, PA and as the Chaplin at the Church Farm School in Exton, PA, where he taught classes in World Religions. Dr. Smith served as Vice-President of the Ches-Mont League during its expansion with the Southern Chester County League in 2006. The new expanded league commenced during the 2007-2008 school year.

Reverend Dr. Smith has received numerous awards for public service. On July 10, 2010, he received the George W. Conyer Commandery #16 Community Service Award in recognition for outstanding dedication, commitment and leadership to our community. In addition, Reverend Dr. Smith and his wife Sylvia received the Alexander Foster Parent of the Year Award for Excellence in caring for the children in the foster care system. Reverend Dr. Smith was one of two winners of the 2016 “Lifetime Achievement Award in Education.” The “Lifetime Achievement Award in Education” recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to education in the greater Coatesville, Pennsylvania community. On October 6, 2017, he was recognized by the Downingtown High School Alumni Association for his dedication and service to Downingtown High School and Community.

On May 23, 2004, Reverend Dr. Smith was consecrated as an Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In May 2004 he received his first pastoral charge as the pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Coatesville, Pennsylvania. He served the members of Bethel for six years. In 2008, he was consecrated for the Office of Itinerant Elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In June 2010, Reverend Dr. Smith received his second pastoral charge as pastor of Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, located in Atglen, Pennsylvania. At Mount Zion Atglen, he assisted the congregation in a $452,000 building expansion and renovation in 2011 concluding with paying off the mortgage during the month of July 2017. He currently serves as the Pastor of Mount Zion. Mount Zion is a supporter of the POINT after school program in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania. At the POINT, Mount Zion provides meals and supervision on the second Wednesday of each month with several local churches.

In the community, he serves on several boards in the Chester County area, including the Brandywine Health Foundation for 9 years. He served on the CYI board during the launching of the Coatesville Youth Initiative (CYI) several years ago which is presently a separate nonprofit organization. He served in the past on the Executive Committee of the Coatesville Branch NAACP and the Coatesville Community Education Foundation. He serves on the Chester County Council for the Workforce of Tomorrow. Reverend Dr. Smith is a board member of Chester County Futures (CCF). The goal of CCF is to provide students the college readiness and life skills needed to be self-sufficient and prosper. In addition, he is a member of the Christiana Lions Club, and serves the chaplain. On February 25, 2015, Dr. Smith served as Guest Chaplain for the Senate of Pennsylvania, while giving an interfaith opening prayer before the business of the day. He currently serves as the Chaplain for the AME Ministerial Alliance of Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Vicinity. For the last seven years, during the elections, Reverend Dr. Smith has served as the Majority Inspector in Precinct #225, East Fallowfield, Pennsylvania.

Reverend Dr. Smith is the Dean of the Ministers Institute and Board of Examiners of the Harrisburg District of the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He serves on the following report committees in the Philadelphia Annual Conference; Past Chairperson of the Civic Involvement Committee Report, Chairperson of Church Growth and Evangelism Report, Board of Trustees, Ministerial Efficiency, and District and Conference Finance Committees. Reverend Dr. Smith is married to Sylvia C. Smith. They are the proud parents of seven children: Linwood, III, Keisha, Mary, Daveenia, September, Tiara, and Asiah. He is the proud grandfather of 13 grandchildren. As a goal in high school, Reverend Dr. Smith had planned to become an architect and build new spaces for people to live and grow as productive citizens in the community. He believes this goal is actively achieved when helping students, the church and community members reach their goals and dreams. He is thankful for the many opportunities given to him by God and others in the church and community.