While traveling south on route 55 into Cumberland County, a white water tower stands as an unmistakable marker for the town of Millville, NJ. This landmark identifies the backyard where Eugene and Barbara Smith raised their four children on Geissinger Avenue. “Smitty” was a self-employed truck driver and Barbara a homemaker. Faithful weekly attendance at Second United Methodist Church gave the structure of Christian home and provided significant formative spiritual experiences.
Upon graduation (1978) from Millville senior high, Doug pursued his undergraduate education at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. He graduated in 1982 with majors in Bible and Christian Education. During his collegian years he served internships in youth ministry on the summer staff of First United Methodist and Wesley United Methodist Churches in Lake City, Florida. Doug and Julie dated during their collegian year and were married in Estes Chapel in Wilmore, Kentucky on the campus of Asbury Theological Seminary in 1982.
Doug completed his graduate education at Asbury Theological Seminary receiving an M.Div in 1986. During his seminary training he served on staff as the youth pastor of Nicholasville United Methodist Church in Nicholasville Kentucky.
Doug and Julie returned to the Southern New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in June, 1986 and was ordained as a deacon. He was appointed as the Associate Pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Turnersville, NJ. In 1988 he was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist denomination. During his six-year tenure at St. John’s the congregation grew to become the largest attended United Methodist Churches in New Jersey.
In July, 1992 Doug was appointed to Sharptown United Methodist Church where he continues as senior pastor Doug and Julie are the proud parents of three sons; Andrew-24, David-21 and Thomas-18. Julie serves on the faculty of the Salem County Vocational Technical Institute as a history teacher in the academy program. The Smith’s enjoy trips down route 95 to visit family in Florida, the beach, most sports, golf and the outdoors.