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.


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.