April 8, 2003
BETHANY – The Association of Missouri Directors of Missions (DOM) of the Year is a man of prayer who ministers mostly to bivocational pastors in a small town near the Iowa border.
Ron Smith of the Harrison Baptist Association is well known in Bethany, the Harrison County seat of about 3,000 people located about 20 miles south of the Iowa state line. Both he and his wife of 46 years, Peggy, grew up in the association and have a deep love for the churches, having served them as DOM and DOM secretary for the last 16 years.
"Ron is a kind, gentle person," said Gordon Rhodes, president of the Missouri DOMs. "He works extremely well with his pastors and with his churches. He wants to be a very good resource for his churches. It seems to me like he takes all the training that he can to be a help to his churches and pastors."
The association includes 22 churches and 16 pastors. All but one of the pastors are bivocational. There are 3,341 members, with 87 baptisms last year. The common thread that ties it all together is prayer, Smith said.
"Our desire is that (prayer) would be the distinguishing factor of our churches," he said. "We have a very active association prayer coordinator who has led us in prayer walks in every church."
His reaction to being named DOM of the Year on March 26 was to give the glory to God.
"Totally unworthy," is how Smith described himself. "Undeserving. I cannot think of one thing that I’ve done that would deserve such an honor as that. It would all have to go to the Lord."
A good DOM, he said, will pray for a heart of love, understanding and wisdom, realizing that everything comes from God. Ministry must be based on the principle of seeking God and seeing God add. This is what he tries to teach throughout his association, which is characterized by pastors calling on him at all hours.
"We’ve pretty much left open hours in our office," Smith said. "I guess you could say the doors aren’t really closed unless we’re going, so we can be available if they need us. They know that they can call us in the evening, and we call them."
Among the duties of a DOM are working with committees on various aspects of church life, leading in the area of missions, trying to help churches find the right pastor and working with pulpit search committees.
A DOM has to have three years of service to qualify for the annual award.