Westport Tom Smith has been learning the names and stories that make the Federated Church a spiritual family since January.
Smith is the new Pastor at the Westport church, a parish he had been working at for a year prior to taking the helm.
“I did pulpit supply for a year before, preaching about 10-15 times here in 2013,” Smith, a Jay resident, said. “My wife (Lisa) and I felt that we were called here after we prayed about it and our goal is to love, to lead and to feed. Love the church, lead them and feed them what they needs to have a successful life.”
Smith works out of the church parsonage Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as conducting and presiding over Sunday meetings and events.
“Having a parsonage and a place to have Bible study and a meal is a great blessing,” he said.
Smith is familiar with the area, having lead the Lake Champlain Bible Fellowship in Port Henry from 2010-12, leaving because he felt the church needed someone, “with boots on the ground there.”
Prior to his time in Port Henry, Smith served at the Lake Placid Baptist Church following his retirement from teaching in the Lake Placid School District.
“The year I retired from teaching was the perfect timing to start preaching as well,” Smith said. “It is a good fit because you are always teaching in the ministry and doing it in a lot of different ways.”
Smith said he is looking forward to continuing to learn about the people of Westport as they learn about him.
“One of the challenges in the ministry is your life is an open book, but I am looking forward to getting to know the stories of this church and people here getting to know about me.”