GRAYSON—Joshua Schmidt, pastor of First Baptist Church of Grayson, will be nominated for second vice-president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention when it holds its annual meeting in Pikeville Nov. 13.
Samuel Schmidt, pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church in Nicholasville, announced his brother's candidacy Nov. 3.
"I must confess nominating my brother Joshua for second vice-president seems like a strange concept to many. Initially, it was to me as well, and definitely to Joshua," Samuel Schmidt said. "However, as I further considered him and the wonderful things God has done through him, I became utterly convinced there was no more deserving individual than Joshua."
"God has honored his ministry," Samuel Schmidt said, noting that in the 10 months that Joshua Schmidt has served as its pastor, Grayson has baptized 25 people and had nearly 50 unite in membership.
The congregation also has seen a 40 percent increase in worship attendance and is boosting their Cooperative Program giving to 10 percent. Currently, CP giving is about 8 percent, and total missions giving at Grayson is more than 35 percent, according to Samuel Schmidt.
A former banker, Joshua Schmidt earned a degree in business from University of the Cumberlands before completing his ministry degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College this year. He currently is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"Joshua is one of the younger pastors in the state, leading one of the faster growing churches in the state," Samuel Schmidt said. "He is leading them to be a catalyst for missions and evangelism.
"This is an opportunity for our convention to invest in a future leader, by partnering him alongside seasoned brothers and sisters in Christ," he said.
Joshua's pastorate at Grayson First is a unique scenario for a congregation, Samuel Schmidt observed, explaining that he is the immediate successor to their father, Paul Schmidt.
A long-time Kentucky pastor, Paul Schmidt served at Grayson for eight years, having previously served First Baptist Church, Inez. After a long battle with colon cancer, Paul Schmidt passed away in 2017, and Joshua, a deacon at Grayson, was called to follow his dad in December.
Interestingly, this is the second time one of Paul Schmidt's sons has been called as pastor of a church where their father previously served. Paul Schmidt was pastor of Inez First from 1993-2009 before Samuel Schmidt served from 2012-2015.
"Dad was as well-respected in Eastern Kentucky as any man ever has been," said Samuel Schmidt, outlining how ministry has become a family affair for the Schmidt brothers.
Their oldest brother, Paul Henry Schmidt, actively serves at Inez First, and their mother remains active at Grayson First, under Joshua's leadership. An uncle, James Schmidt, now pastors in Grahn, Ky., and was a former associate pastor under Paul Schmidt in Grayson. Another uncle, Bruce Hixson, served as a deacon at Grayson.
Their grandfather, Henry Schmidt, was both a preacher and deacon at Wurtland Missionary Baptist Church, where their father also served as pastor. His wife, Alta, served as secretary at Wurtland for decades.
Now that Joshua is pastor of Grayson, his father-in-law and his wife's grandfather serve as deacons under his leadership. And, Samuel Schmidt's father-in-law, Donnie Fox, is president of Clear Creek Bible College, where Joshua and Samuel both earned degrees.
"The greatest thing about nominating Joshua is not only does He love serving Jesus, he enjoys it even more with his family," Samuel Schmidt said.
Joshua Schmidt, in accepting the nomination, quipped, "I'm deeply humbled by the nomination my brother is making; I didn't even think he liked me!"
"In all seriousness, if elected, I look forward to the opportunity to learn under and serve alongside the great men and women of our esteemed Kentucky Baptist Convention," he added. "My brothers and I were Kentucky Baptists before we were even born. Perhaps this is one small way I can contribute back to a people so dear to my heart." (WR)