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Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr.

On the Jericho Road: A Memoir of Racial Justice, Social Action and Prophetic Ministry

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The road to Jericho was fraught with peril. According to one of Jesus' most powerful stories, a man traveling that road was set upon by thieves, robbed, beaten and left to die. Respectable people passed by on the other side. But at great risk and cost to himself, a neighborly stranger stopped to lend aid. So too is modern life filled with criminals, victims, the uninvolved and the few willing to make a difference. One man has made this story his life calling, to minister to all those he encounters on life's difficult road. That man is the Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr. The story of the Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr. is the story of African Americans in the twentieth century. He grew up in an era of poverty and segregation, experiencing the injustices of a racially divided country. With his family and his church as his anchors, he emerged as one of the nation's most prominent African American preachers. He witnessed firsthand the tumult of the civil rights era and faced the challenges of urban decay, violent crime and discrimination. As senior pastor of Oakland's Allen Temple Baptist Church he became a leading activist for societal transformation, spearheading ministries that have provided hope for thousands. Now, as one of the most respected elder statesmen of the African American church, Smith tells the story of his remarkable life, describing the events and people that shaped him. His testimony reveals how God works through the church to minister to individuals, families and communities. Come, join Dr. Smith on the Jericho road. Catch his vision for how lives can be rescued and transformed. And then follow the invitation to go and do likewise.