Rev. Dr. Katherine Smith, Executive Director
Katherine’s education, combined with practical experience living and working in a developing country, has left her with a profound sense of responsibility for the poor and the marginalized, especially those who are adversely affected by climate disruption and environmental degradation. As an ordained minister and educated in theology and biology, Katherine is uniquely situated to lead Baptists and others to a more biblically-based understanding of our responsibility to the created world. Katherine currently serves as an Adjunct Professor with Wayland Baptist Theological Seminary and lives with her husband, Darrell, in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. She is available to speak at your church seminar, retreat, or conference.
Dr. Timothy Gilbert, President of the Board
Dr. Gilbert is an Adjunct Professor in the Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy Department at Greensboro College in North Carolina. Previously, he was an adjunct at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond where he also served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean for four years. Tim received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University, plus a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy in Christian ethics from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He worked as a professor and administrator at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas for nearly thirty years, before retiring and coming to BTSR and Richmond. Tim represented the T.B. Maston Foundation Board at Al Gore’s religious-based training on climate change and global warming in October of 2008. Dr. Gilbert believes it is time for a unified Baptist voice to speak out about creation care issues. He and his wife are members of Emerywood Baptist Church in High Point, North Carolina. His wife, Rev. Karen Gilbert, is a retired Minister of Missions having served churches in Texas and Virginia in that capacity.
Alex Smith, Vice-President
Growing up overseas in a poor developing country, Alex was exposed early on to the realities of poverty, violence, and the impact of the environment. The son of scientifically-minded missionary parents, the merger of science and religion was ingrained in him from a young age. These two aspects of his childhood led to a deep faith in God and a strong commitment to service that would continue to be a defining part of his identity. This commitment led to AmeriCorps St. Louis, a year of service devoted to nature conservation and emergency response. During his time there, Mr. Smith received hands-on experience responding to natural disasters when the Mississippi River flooded its banks, displacing thousands of families in sub-freezing temperatures. Seeing the profound effects that the environment can have on people, particularly poor and at-risk populations, Mr. Smith resolved to take a more active role in combating climate change and raising awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship and care for creation.
Although relatively young at 32, Alex has an abundance of life experiences. He has ten years of international living, in regions repeatedly prone to violence, has been evacuated three times, been a refugee for several months, and had extensive exposure to people from a large variety of cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Professionally, he has coordinated volunteers in disaster situations, has years of upper administration experience, and has been a liaison between multi-million dollar organizations and businesses. Alex has a degree in international studies from Georgia State University and is a teacher at Hills Academy in Conyers, Georgia. Alex serves as a Deacon at Trinity Baptist Church, also in Conyers.
Rev. Karen Woods
Rev. Woods comes from a diverse family background of educators, engineers, nurses, doctors, deacons, and ministers. She has enjoyed a career in not only clinical laboratory science, but also information technology for over twenty-five years. She has been blessed to have experienced the opportunities of being an entrepreneur, as well.
She moved to Atlanta, Georgia in September 1985 to pursue a Master of Science degree in Laboratory Administration. She has been able to explore many disciplines in laboratory science both as a staff member and in leadership roles. She has always enjoyed the discoveries and the intersection of God and of science.
She accepted the call to ministry in April 2010 and completed her Master of Divinity (Pastoral Care Track) from McAfee School of Theology in December 2015. She was ordained November 29, 2015. She has served in several capacities, such as Associate Pastor, Outreach leader, Pastoral Care minister, senior member ministry coordinator, Children’s church worker, and volunteer for Coan Tennis Association. She is endorsed as a chaplain from Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and currently works at Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care in Tucker, GA. Throughout her life, she has co-authored articles in both laboratory science and in theology and has received awards for employee of the month. Karen currently resides in Snellville, Georgia, and enjoys watching sports and gardening.
Shelia Earl, Secretary-Treasurer
Mrs. Earl received a B.S. in Education from East Texas Baptist University in 1970, attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary studies in Pastoral Counseling from 1992-94, and received a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Missions from Logsdon Theological Seminary in 2005.
Shelia is retired from 33 years of overseas missions experience in French-speaking West Africa (Foreign Mission Board) and Eastern Europe – Albania and Republic of Macedonia (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship). Over these years her ministries have been centered around drought and poverty relief, literacy training, women’s cottage industry and health issues, reconciliation and refugee ministries in Macedonia and Kosovo, and childhood education in Skopje, Macedonia. Shelia established relationships with people who, for the most part, were neglected to the status of “outsiders” by societal structures.
Since retirement, Shelia and her husband, Arville, have been actively involved in community and interfaith ministries in Fresno, California and most recently in High Point, NC, where they are members of Emerywood Baptist Church. They have two married children and four grandchildren. In addition to her ministry opportunities and family, Shelia is a watercolor artist and a professional family/event photographer. She also enjoys home renovation and design.
Dr. Robert Darrell Smith
R. Darrell Smith is the Executive Director and Senior Environmental Scientist of Global Environmental Relief, a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating environmentally-driven poverty in developing nations, as well as responding to natural disasters. In addition to living and working in developing nations for roughly half of his career, Darrell has served as a field ecologist and disaster specialist with the U.S. government, as a private environmental consultant, and as a humanitarian development professional for various non-governmental organizations. He has advanced degrees in aquatic/wetland ecology (Ph.D.), water quality/aquaculture (M.S.), and cross-cultural ministry (M.Div.) and is a certified floodplain manager and a professional wetland scientist.