Pastoral Transition

All Church Evening of Prayer - 9/21/17 - 6:30pm

All Allen Temple Members are invited to come together in the Sanctuary this Thursday, September 21 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM for our All Church Evening of Prayer. Let us pursue guidance from the Holy Spirit through fervent prayer for our church, our community, and each other as we embark upon our Pastoral Transition Process. We look forward to seeing you there!

21 Days of Prayer for the Pastoral Transition Season

Dear Allen Temple Family,

As we all strive to grow spiritually and to enhance our ATBC Pastoral Transition Prayer focus, we are humbly asking every member to join together in prayer and meditation for the next twenty-one (21) days, centering around these three (3) themes and seven (7) suggested biblical scripture references.
Very simply stated:

  • Divine Discernment
    • Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)
      • 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
    • Psalm 119:66 (NIV)
      • 66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.
    • Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
      • 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
  • Church Family Unity
    • 1 Corinthians 12:27 (KJV)
      • 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    • Ephesians 4:4-7 (KJV)
      • There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
    • Romans 12:4-5 (ESV)
      • For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
  • The ‘Fruit of the Spirit’
    • Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
      • 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

God Bless!!!

Pastoral Transition Email Now Available

Should you have questions concerning the transition process, feel free to send an email to; your query will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and honesty.

Pastoral Transition Update - 9/3/17

The Senior Pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church, Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Jr., has announced his plans to retire on January 31, 2019. If the church completes the process earlier, his retirement date could be as early as September 30, 2018.

During this transition process, the Senior Pastor, J. Alfred Smith, Jr., and the Assistant Pastor, Dr. Jacqueline Thompson, will continue in their respective roles, as Allen Temple Baptist Church functions normally, in accordance with God’s will and the stated mission of the church.

The church is not accepting applications at this time for the Senior Pastor position. We are beginning the process by pursuing guidance from the Holy Spirit and asking all church members to begin in fervent prayer for our church, our community, and each other. Please plan to attend the upcoming all-church Evening of Prayer on Thursday, September 21 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

In the upcoming weeks, you will receive more information about additional all-church prayer meetings, a series of town hall sessions, opportunities to provide input, and additions to the church web-site including a transition process landing page, and e-mail address for transitional process questions. Copies of Article VII, Section 1, The Calling of the Pastor, were made available with the Sr. Pastor’s retirement announcement, and will also be available at each town hall meeting.

As we go through this pastoral transition process, we reflect and are guided by 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV): Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Peace and Blessings,
Deacon Ted Carter
Chairperson, Deacons Ministry

Pastor Smith Retirement Letter

August 5, 2017

Dear Allen Temple Family,

This letter is to inform you that I have been led of the Holy Spirit to retire as your Senior Pastor, effective January 31, 2019. While this has been a difficult decision, it is one with which I am at peace, as a result of much prayer, and in consultation with my family, and our very supportive Deacons leadership team. 

Eight and a half years ago when I answered the call to serve as the Senior Pastor of this wonderful church, I made it very clear to everyone that based upon my mature age at that time, I would not be able to plan for a long tenure, but would run my leg of the race as best I could, and then hand the baton over to a younger, fresher runner. Indeed, I have repeated this message to the church at strategic points along the way.  

I have tried my best to run a good race, with my “eyes fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”. Now, I am at that point where I am growing older and have increased health challenges that would impede my ongoing effectiveness as your pastor if I were to stay beyond my effective date for retirement. I don't want to diminish the ministry of this great church by hanging on beyond my time. Further, as the church draws near its 100th Anniversary and the dawn of a new era, I believe that the Lord has new vision and new leadership in store for Allen Temple.

With this notice of retirement, the church must now pursue guidance from the Holy Spirit in calling a new Senior Pastor, in accordance with the detailed process spelled out in the church constitution, Article VII, Section 1. Should the church complete the process in advance of my effective date of retirement, I am willing to move-up the date to as early as September 30, 2018, which would be in-line with my full retirement age. In whichever case, during this season of transition I will continue to carry out my role as Senior Pastor. I am committed to give of my best to this church until my last day of official service.

In conclusion, I am reminded of Paul’s farewell words to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:19-22, wherein he said, “I have served the Lord with great humility”. I have tried to do likewise, and like Paul, I will be going to my Jerusalem, to enter into my season of fasting and praying, seeking God’s direction for the next chapter of my life.

encourage you to continue the good works, ministering to the hopeless, caring for the sick and shut-in, providing food to the hungry, speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves. My brothers and sisters, “Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not” (Galatians 6:9).  God is still blessing Allen Temple and as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor has entered into the human heart
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(1 Corinthians 2:9)

Prayerfully Submitted,


J. Alfred Smith, Jr.


Pastor Smith Retirement Letter PDF