Getting to know: Pastor adds title to name after mistaken identity

Freedom New Mexico

Steve Smith has been the pastor at University Baptist Church in Portales for the last 14 years. A graduate of Portales High and Eastern New Mexico University, Smith is married to his wife Kathy and has two sons: Jeremy and Timothy. His last job before moving back to Portales was preaching the word at a church in Pampa, Texas.

When did you become interested in becoming a pastor?

Actually, I felt a calling back when I was 12 years old. Then I sort of tried to go a different direction, but ultimately I felt the Lord had called me to ministry to be a pastor. In college, I began seriously pursuing that.

Is there a particular part of the Bible you find yourself constantly going back to when preparing a sermon?

I believe what the scripture says, that it’s all profitable and good for instruction for teaching us what we should do in how to walk with Christ. I preach from the Old and New Testaments — just about anywhere. I don’t do a lot of preaching from the genealogies, but I have preached a message or two from them too.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I’d say it’s people, being able to be part of their lives — to know the Lord is using you to help them, to encourage them, to challenge them. It’s a blessing when you can see that. I don’t think you always see all that the Lord uses you for, but he does allow us to see things at times and that helps keep you encouraged.

You have a name that’s fairly common. How many famous Steve Smiths can you think of?

I know there’s been a football player or two named Steve Smith. Not so famous. When we lived in Pampa, where two other guys were named Steve Smith. One of them was a farmer and one was a male-stripper who commuted in Amarillo. I got calls for both of them. I had never used The Reverend before in the phone book, because I never necessarily considered myself a reverend, but after that I did.

What does your family like to do around the house in your spare time?

We watch television, of course, and sometimes we like to play board games. We play Clue, Sorry, Life and my son’s got us involved in a game called Axis & Allies — somebody once said it’s Risk on steroids. We played marathon Risk games in college, but my older son came across this and it’s a lot more intense.