Pastor Lavina Johnson Smith is the youngest of eight children born to Fred and Maggie Johnson, September 24, 1950, in Williston, South Carolina. She is the youngest of eight children. She attended school until the fourth grade in South Carolina upon moving to Chester, Pennsylvania, where she continued her education in the Chester Schools graduating from Chester High School in June 1968. She continued her education with many accomplishments. Pastor Smith has studied for over twenty eight years as the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, completing all classes for Christian Education and graduating with Family and Marriage certification.
Professionally she worked for forty-three (43) years in education, seventeen as a teacher, seventeen as a principal, nine years in the district office as the Homeless Advocate serving thirty schools. Her forty-three years consist of twenty-two years in the Chester-Upland School District and twenty-one years in the Christina School District. Retiring July 1, 2016, she feels that she has never worked a day in her life because she loved every moment that God blessed her to serve his precious children and their parents.
Pastor Smith was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Chester, PA for forty-three years, in which attending since the age of nine years old. She was the first Director of Christian Education, the first woman Ordained in the Shiloh Baptist Church and the New Hope Baptist Association. Pastor Smith also served as the first Assistant Pastor that Shiloh has ever had for four years before coming to serve as the Interim Pastor of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church. She has served in practically every capacity in the church and she continues to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
She became the Pastor of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church in March 2006. God has allowed many accomplishments through this ministry under this leadership. The Church is alive and well and God is blessing through prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving. She is honored to fellowship with such intelligent, spiritual, loving and dedicated members of the body of Jesus Christ. It is a church where Everybody is Somebody, and Christ is the Head.
Pastor Smith is married to Garfield R. Smith, Sr. for forty-seven years (August 19, 1972). Through this union they are blessed with four sons, Garfield Jr. (Angela), Damon (Holly), Brian (Laton), Jason ( Rachel), and one daughter, Lavina Jeneen Smith. They are blessed with seven grandchildren, Arianna, Kayla, Sutton, Weston, Sloan, Garfield III, and Zion Smith.
Her motto is, “If I can help somebody as I travel day by day, then my living shall not be in vain.”
Her favorite scripture: "Luke 1:37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Her favorite song: "Precious Lord" and "God Specializes".
Her favorite thought is: "The situation itself is only ten percent, how you HANDLE the situation is ninety percent."