Rev. Susan Smith Receives 2011 Spirit of King Award

Rev. Susan Smith is seen waving to the audience at the MLK Community Service as she receives the 2011 Spirit of King Award.Rev. Susan Smith received the 2011 Spirit of King award on January 16, 2011 during the ecumenical MLK Community service hosted by the Greater Hickory Ministerial Alliance and the Hickory Area Ministers at Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory.  In presenting the award, Rev. Bill Gerrard read from the nominations for her that described her as a community leader who embodied the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of inclusion of people of all races and cultures, making our community a better place to live. He gave many examples of her work in the NAACP, diverse work in the community, service with Exodus Church, and her dedication at  Exodus Homes.  When receiving the award, Smith said “To God be the glory” and named many who share the award with her because “when you see a turtle on a fence post, you know she didn’t get there by herself.”
Rev. Smith accepted the award on behalf of her late husband Michael Smith who was a lifelong advocate for equality of rights for all people as well as her children, Unifour Christian Fellowship Church, Church of the Master UCC, the NAACP, Faith In America,  Exodus Missionary Outreach Church, and Exodus Homes. She has been associate pastor of Exodus Church and assistant executive director of Exodus Homes for almost 14 years. Smith is currently chair of Press and publicity for the Hickory Branch NAACP.
Smith gave a rousing acceptance speech, encouraging the audience to join the NAACP and continue the fight for full and equal rights for all people. Quoting Dr. King, she said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We can and will make Dr. King’s dream come true. God bless America, and God bless you all.”