The Reverend Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith
Mother A.M.E. Zion Church
“Harlem is a place where people have lived with a connectivity to their African roots. Harlem is a village – a place where the ancestors were.”
Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith stands at the helm of his grandfather’s church with an ‘inescapable urge to serve society’. He calls his transition from the corporate and diplomatic worlds into the church an ‘invisible transition’ because he is the apple that never fell far from the tree. His new post at Mother A.M.E. Zion Church is simply the natural next step in a lifelong commitment to serve God and the community. As such, he is vital link between Mother Zion’s epic history and the future of the community it serves. A graduate of Livingstone College in North Carolina, Rev. Dr. Robeson Smith also earned two Masters (MBA and a Masters of Divinity) and two Doctoral degrees (Doctorate in Higher Ed Administration and a Doctorate in Ministries).
“I am a preacher’s kid who wanted to be a diplomat as a young man, and I ended with twenty plus years in the corporate world. I contend that the Lord brought me full circle and had me in those other experiences to prepare for where I am now. I’ve been all over the world, met heads of states, participated in the supervision of elections in South Africa, I’ve served two presidents, and I’ve been in every country in Africa except for five. I did, however, dream of being a Broadway producer and the president of a black college.
Being a pastor is the most awesome responsibility in the world. If you do what the Lord is directing you, you have the power to influence the total person, mind, body and spirit. Sunday morning is the outward collective experience of spirit in rejoicing with your brothers and sisters of the village. But the inward experience is the after-school programs, the daycare, the being involved in family and social issues.
The spirit of the community in Harlem is a living, breathing ethos. Spirit is the raison d’etre for people of color. It’s a way of life.”