Pastor Vernon Smart was born the youngest of five boys in a very musical family (His mother was a New England Conservatory trained piano teacher, church organist, and choir director.). He and his family performed concerts for numerous churches, nursing homes, and other civic groups in the Boston area.
Vernon's ambition was to use his talent for singing and playing a variety of musical instruments to pursue a career as a performer. With this in mind, he studied Music at U Mass, Lowell. However, God had a different plan for his life.
After spending a couple of years in the Hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, Pastor Vernon came to personal faith in Christ in the summer of 1971. Sensing the call of God to pastoral ministry, he attended Elim Bible Institute, which was born in the Pentecostal movement of a century ago and embraced the Charismatic renewal.
Pastor Vernon graduated from Elim with a Diploma in Bible in 1978. He has since earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from SUNY Empire State College, and is completing a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Northeastern Seminary.
In January of 1980, Pastor Vernon planted a Spirit-filled church in Hamilton, New York, and served as the pastor there for sixteen years. During this time he also taught workshops and seminars on over a dozen college campuses throughout New York State. Particularly known for his Bible teaching ministry, he has also ministered in several pastors' schools and conferences in Latin America and Africa.
In June of 2008 Pastor Vernon accepted the call to serve New Hope Christian Community Church, Oneida NY. He and his wife, Gwendolyn ("Gwendi") have four grown children (two of whom are serving other churches as pastors) and eleven grandchildren. They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary June 1, 2014.
New Hope Christian Community Church, 1904 West Road (St Rt 46), PO Box 115 Oneida. NY 13421 Ph: (315) 363-8227, Fax: (315) 363-5115.