Air date: August 23, 2012
ROBERT SMITH CAME TO DETROIT 30 YEARS AGO. Smith: As I drove towards the church a voice came to be saying a city on the hill can’t be hid and it made me want to come and try too revitalize Linwood SINCE THEN, THE PASTOR OF THE NEW BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH HAS SPREAD HIMSELF ALL OVER THE COMMUNITY. HE WALKS THE STREETS. HE HELPS WITH FOOD, CLOTHING, HOUSING. HE OFTEN DOESN’T TELL PEOPLE HE’S A CLERGYMAN. Smith: This one guy said I never met a pastor a man that I wanted to be my pastor or a church that I wanted to be a part of and I said just like I am now, why don’t you meet me at that church across the street, I will be in the lobby on Sunday which I am in the lobby anyway. He said OK and he came in and of course he was shocked when it came time for the sermon I came up to do the sermon….LAUGHING PASTOR SMITH RUNS MULTIPLE BUSINESSES AND HOUSING FOR THE NEEDY. HE EVEN OPERATES THIS APARTMENT BUILDING FOR INCOME ADJUSTED TENNANTS ACROSS FROM THE CHURCH Smith: Well the blessing is that it was a tax credit project and at the time people were making good money and they were looking to lose some money. The bad news is it runs out December 31. Mitch Albom: Of this year? Smith: So when you ask how are we going to operate from now, I don’t know SMITH BELIEVES SOME METRO DETROITERS CAN HAVE THE WRONG IDEA ABOUT THE NEEDY. Smith: I think that the perception is that they put themselves there and that is where they ought to be. SMITH DOES NOT AGREE. IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY, MINISTERING TO THE CITY ON THE HILL AS HE CALLS IT. BUT 30 YEARS LATER ROBERT SMITH IS STILL AT IT. Smith: Deeds of mercy and compassion upon those who are in distress, those who are hungry and those who are in need. Do that is what my Ministry has always been about LIFTING THOSE IN NEED AROUND HIM, ROBERT SMITH IS ALSO LIFTING THE HEART OF DETROIT.