Former Columbia minister called as pastor of Johnson Ferry

Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Marietta, Ga., unanimously approved North Carolina pastor Clay Smith Aug. 4 to occupy the pulpit previously filled by former Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright.

Smith currently serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Matthews, N.C. He previously was minister of adults at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, from 2008 to 2014, and associate pastor of outreach and education at Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter, from 2005-2008.

A native of South Carolina, Smith holds an M.Div. degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing his doctorate from Southwestern.

Bryant Wright, senior pastor and founder of Johnson Ferry in 1981, said there is “no doubt in our mind that Clay Smith is the man that God has chosen for this role.” Wright, also a South Carolina native, who served as SBC president from 2010-2012, announced his impending retirement in November 2018. He will be sharing pastoral responsibilities with Smith from Sept. 8 until early December.

Smith and his wife, Terrica, have three children — Madison, Molly and Miller.