Published on October 5, 2022 by Kristen Padilla  
Robert Smith Jr Legacy Award

Beeson Divinity School’s longtime preaching professor, Robert Smith Jr., received Baylor University’s George W. Truett Seminary Legacy Award in tribute for his global impact on Christian preaching and service to the kingdom of God on Sept. 28.

Smith, who serves as the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity, was presented the award during Truett’s National African American Preaching Conference, held Sept. 27-29 in Waco, Texas. This award is presented once a year to outstanding proclaimers of the Christian faith.

“Anyone who has ever heard Dr. Smith was influenced by both his preaching and his personality,” said Ralph D. West, founding pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston and Beeson Divinity alumnus, who introduced Smith during the Legacy Luncheon.

Joel C. Gregory, director of Truett’s Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching, presented the award to Smith at a banquet on the Baylor campus.

“I have known Dr. Smith in multiple contexts for decades,” Gregory said. “His astonishing gifts as a preacher, unequaled recall of content, passionate delivery, Spirit anointing and humanitarian sympathy are known coast-to-coast and border-to-border and around the globe in thousands of assemblies. His voice resonates all over the planet as a magisterial proclaimer of the gospel."

Smith received the E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference Living Legend in 2017 and has spoken at more than 135 universities, colleges and seminaries in the United States, Great Britain, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. In 2010, Preaching magazine named his book, Doctrine That Dances, one of the 25 most influential books in preaching in the previous 25 years. An ordained Baptist minister, Smith has taught Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity for the last 25 years while also filling pulpits almost every weekend.

“Robert Smith is one of the most gifted preachers, one of the very best teachers and one of the godliest, humblest and most loving people I have had the privilege to know,” Beeson dean Doug Sweeney said. “He is an honest-to-goodness treasure who spends many hours ministering to each and every student God brings his way. I couldn’t be prouder of him and his ministry here at Beeson, at Samford and beyond. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this important award than him.”

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Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.