Frank Smith Lilley

Frank Smith Lilley

Mississippi State University

University of Limerick (UL)


Smith is the Pastor of the First United Methodist Church, Tupelo, Mississippi. He completed Divinity Studies at Vanderbilt University. He spent five years as a US Air Force officer but his experiences mentoring and guiding ROTC cadets as an Assistant Professor, coupled with his personal theological study, helped him

discover his religious vocation. Smith is a 2005 Mitchell Scholar. He received a Master's Degree in International Studies from the University of Limerick. He discovered many historical parallels between the island of Ireland and Mississippi, particularly in their struggles with religious conflict and poverty. At Vanderbilt, Smith received funding to return to Ireland to examine the community work of the East Belfast Mission of the Methodist Church and compare his findings with racial reconciliation and poverty relief initiatives in Jackson, Mississippi. Smith plans to pursue a PhD in theology as he seeks ways to strengthen links between the church and the academy. In his work as a teacher and preacher, Smith hopes to lead churches to discover how transformed lives can transform communities, at home and abroad. Smith obtained his undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University.