New minister: A community resource

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By Will Phillips

By Will Phillips


Smithfield Baptist Church has a new pastor. Bo Irvin moved to Smithfield in February with his wife Elizabeth, daughter Olivia, and newborn son Bo, he plans to immediately begin making a difference in his community and church.

“We want to be a great resource in the community, and we want to build friendships and relationships.” Irvin said, regarding what he feels is his church’s place in the community of Smithfield and Henry County at large.

Irvin, a native of Nashville, Tenn., moved to Kentucky to attend Murray State University, graduating in 2005. Irvin then moved to Louisville to work and attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While in Louisville, Irvin met his wife Elizabeth, who hails from Paducah. The two were soon married.

Irvin and his family moved to the Hurstbourne area of Louisville, where he served as the young adult minister at Cedar Creek Baptist Church for five years. In February they moved to Smithfield, where he has taken over as the lead pastor for Smithfield Baptist Church.

Irvin said he felt drawn to Smithfield following God’s lead.

“The first time going out there, we just kind of fell in love with the hometown area out there, and the people and relationships just kind of drew us in,” Irvin said. “We realized that that’s where God wanted us to serve and plant our life.”

Irvin enjoys Smithfield’s proximity to Louisville and doesn’t feel cut off from the aspects of urban life that he grew up with. And Irvin’s family has supported the move to Smithfield and his daughter, Olivia enjoys the rural life.

“We live right across from a cow pasture. So she loves getting up every morning and looking out, and seeing the cows. And she loves going across the street to look at them,” Irvin said. “She enjoys having more room to play outside. Just being out and being able to see stars. It’s just different [from the city]. You go out in the country, and you look up, and it’s like the sky’s more clear. She loves looking at them…and we look forward to more of that in the coming months.”

Irvin hopes the church will grow closer to God, and be of service to the community.

“It’s a real nice community of people in the church that really just love…each other. They love to come together and help people in need,” Irvin said. “Since we’ve been there, it’s just different to be among the people in the community and to have that relationship. It’s been good.”

When asked if he had anything he wanted to say to the community of Smithfield, Irvin smiled and said, “At Smithfield Baptist Church, we are open to help in any way that we can. We want to be a great resource in the community. We want to build friendships and build relationships, and we’d love to see the message of God spread. We just want to meet everybody.”