Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2011-01-26


Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School has honored David Smith as its 2011 master’s degree Alumnus of the Year.  Smith, who earned a master of divinity degree from Beeson in 2004, is chaplain at the Hamilton Aged and Infirmed Correctional Facility in Hamilton, Ala.

Smith received the award during Beeson’s opening convocation of the spring semester Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Smith was cited for his work with Beeson’s extension division to offer faith-based classes at the prison. With Beeson, Smith has offered courses in Biblical Introduction, Christian Doctrine, the Life of Christ, and the Life and Letters of Paul.  About 25 inmates are enrolled in the program.

“He is a God-called servant who serves as a teacher, preacher and minister. We are proud to call him a graduate of Beeson Divinity School,” said Beeson extension division director Jim Pounds in presenting Smith the award.

Chaplain at the Hamilton prison since 2007, Smith also serves as student minister at South Hamilton Baptist Church. He earned a bachelor’s degree in religion at Samford in 2001.

Alabama Baptist State Convention president Dr. Mike Shaw preached the convocation sermon.

Shaw encouraged the Beeson students to preach the gospel eagerly. “If you’re going to be a pastor, you need to be a preacher. People need to hear the gospel on a regular basis,” he said. 

Shaw, who holds degrees from Samford and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, has served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Pelham, Ala., since 1979. He was elected to the state convention post in November.


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.