Candles dance softly atop the fireplace, a soothing flicker of light cast across the floor. The warm and inviting home is only a projection of the spirit of love that resides there, kindled by the kind and giving woman perched comfortably on the couch. A welcoming smile adorns her face, but not so much as the peace of God that resides in her eyes. “Come in, come in,” Chloe Smith, the Assistant Pastor at Zion Tabernacle church, beckons. Her arms always open to support and console; she lifts the spirits of many with merely a glance and a kind word. “It’s so good to see you.”
“I’ve been here all my life,” she says with a smile. Chloe attended Love Elementary School as a child, followed by Washington Junior High, and later Jamestown High School. “I had such wonderful teachers all throughout school – I loved school.” She cites her favorite subjects as English and Science, “If I had to choose!”
After graduation, Chloe went right to work, running the After School Program at Love School and directly helping the students as a paraprofessional in the classroom. “That has been my whole life – education at both Love School and Washington.” Giving back to the community through education has been a huge portion of Chloe’s life, impacting children and their families for many years.
Chloe has also been deeply involved in the religious community throughout her life, starting out at a young age. “I grew up in the North Main Street Church of God as a child – a lot of people in that church were very influential in my life. I just remember how loving and accepting they were – they helped me believe in myself.” An active member of the church, Chloe was very involved and has always held a very strong faith.
Later, she was invited to take part in AGLOW International, a women’s ministry organization. “I got to be on the board, and eventually became the President.” Very active in this effort to minister to women, Chloe remembers fondly her time in the Jail Ministry program. “That was the highlight,” she recalls. “You wouldn’t think you would have a lot in common with them – but a lot of them were just women who had made a series of mistakes. You hope you made a difference in their lives – they made a difference in mine.” AGLOW International also offered clothing and food give aways during Chloe’s tenure. “A lot of people would come to that,” she says. “Women, girls, teens – they all participated and came together.”
Chloe is excited that in the coming months, she will be ordained at Zion Tabernacle Church as an Associate Pastor. “I always wanted to teach – I didn’t know it would come in the form of pastoring!” she says with a laugh. She has been working hard on her ordination, teaching lessons, studying the Bible and explaining her beliefs. “You have to be well versed in the Bible,” she explains. In addition to her Ordination work, she also teaches Sunday school and preaches every Sunday at 7 pm. “We just did a Christmas program,” she says with a smile. “We also had a horse and carriage ride with the kids – people were coming out on their porches and waving…it was a lot of fun.”
Chloe also speaks at a wide range of Churches in the area, sharing her faith and compassion with the community. “I am grateful that it is all different denominations; that it’s not separate, but we all come together.” The next opportunity to see her speak will be January 18th, 2015, at 4 pm at the Emmanuel Baptist Church for the Martin Luther King Program. “I’m really excited about that.”
Through her dedication to her faith and her desire to serve, Chloe brings a light into the community that is sorely needed. From educational teaching to spiritual guidance and more, she puts her all into her work, making life just that much better for those around her. “I just hope to be a positive influence in the church and the community,” she explains. “I desire to be an asset and I hope to reach out so much more in the days to come.”