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Pastor Taye Hailu

Dr. Robert Smith

Pastor Taye Hailu was called to preach and teach the Gospel in January 1996, under the leadership of Pastor Carey E. Pointer, Jr. of Greater Fellowship Full Gospel Baptist Church. He accepted his call and preached his initial sermon on August 11, 1996.


Pastor Hailu believes and operates on the principle as spoken by the prophet Hosea, “My people perish for the lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6). Because of his belief and with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Hailu has become a mentor to many youth and young adults in the Washington, DC metropolitan area: and an extraordinary teacher with a passion to share Jesus Christ with others. Pastor Hailu is also a gifted and powerful motivational speaker, always willing to share the good news of Jesus Christ and encourage those needing a Word from the Lord.


In August of 2011, Pastor Hailu obeyed his call to start New Direction Church (NDC). NDC first service was held on November 6, 2011. 

Robert Smith, Jr.  joined the Beeson Divinity School faculty in 1997 and teaches Christian Preaching. He is the author of Doctrine that Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life; coeditor (with Timothy George) of A Mighty Long Journey, a collection of sermons on racial reconciliation; coeditor with Timothy George and James Earl Massey of Our Sufficiency is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor; and has had a study of Christian ministry in the African American church published in Preparing for Christian Ministry. His research interests include the place of passion in preaching, the literary history of African American preaching, Christological preaching, and theologies of preaching. Before coming to Beeson, he was the Carl E. Bates Associate Professor of Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. An ordained Baptist minister, he served as pastor of New Mission Missionary Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 20 years. He and his wife, Wanda Taylor Smith, Ph.D., are the parents of four adult children (one in heaven) and eight grandchildren.


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