Amy Ezell

Director, Center for Communication

The hymn “Go ye, go ye, into the world, and make disciples of all the nations” can be energetically sung when your online services are, indeed, reaching persons across the globe.

Rev. Peaches Smith, pastor of Haven United Methodist Church in Hot Springs, is aware of views from different states for their online services. But she also has viewers from across the globe.

Rev. Smith’s daughter, Katie, met China-based Flora in an Amazon review. When Flora told Katie that her parents were sick, Katie said her mother was a pastor and would pray for her parents. Flora began watching church services weekly from November 2020 until May 2022 when she had to travel to see her parents, and, due to spotty internet, she can’t watch as much, but she still checks in as she can.

“Your mom is a person I feel like I can reach out and touch,” Flora told Katie.

Rev. Smith also has viewers from a non-United Methodist Church in Magori, Kenya. Rev. Smith said that Ben Ouma began watching their church services online and commenting.” The church gathers around cell phones to watch Haven’s services.

“They send me pictures of them sitting on the floor, watching our services,” she said.

Rev. Smith said the services are not live-streamed; they’re recorded, then posted. “Depending on the services, sometimes we film on location,” she said. Locations have included Petit Jean Mountain, as well as Lake DeGray, depending on the sermon topic.

Being a global pastor continues to teach Rev. Smith that nothing is impossible for God. “Eight years ago, I became a widow,” she said. “Eight years ago, I never would have seen myself completing a year of seminary, and I am now entering my third year serving as a pastor. I am learning the plans God has for you are nothing I would have planned, but God has equipped me. The main part is, I have to be obedient.”