New Brunswick
Jun 01, 2017
Brooks Smith
How to Be a Philanthropist - When You're Not Bill Gates

I grew up in Chicago and Albany, New York.  My college majors were History and Economics.  In 1964, I participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project and that shaped my call to be a pastor.

My initial seminary training was at the University of Chicago Divinity School.  I received a Master’s degree from the university.  I received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1970 and was ordained in 1971 to serve the Cuyahoga Falls(Ohio) Presbyterian Church.  In 1995, I received a Master of Science degree from the New School University in non profit management.

In 1973, I  became the Associate pastor at the 3000 member First Presbyterian Church of Allentown(Pa). While in Allentown, I was responsible for youth ministry, adult education and mission.

In 1978, I came to pastor the Watchung Ave. Presbyterian Church in North Plainfield.  Our church had a dynamic music program.  Our youth group went on annual mission trips, including to Dominican Republic, Mexico and Nicaragua.  We created a housing corporation, organized the CROP walk, opened an after school program and started a refugee center.

After retiring in 2007, I served as interim pastor at the Bound Brook Presbyterian Church for 30 months and First Presbyterian Church of Rahway.  In the presbytery, I currently chair the Disaster Preparedness and Response Commission and serve on the cabinet.

My wife is a retired guidance director and counselor.  Our son Steven lives in Indonesia and his daughter lives in Sweden.  Our son Drew and his wife and our two grandchildren live in Austin Texas.

I enjoy gardening, tennis, basketball, dancing and movies.

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