Kevin Wesley Earley, Senior Pastor

Dr. Kevin Wesley Earley is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He is an ordained minister of the Church of God Reformation Movement. He became the pastor of the Community Church of God in Atlanta, Georgia on October 1, 2020. Previously he served the historic Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit, Michigan for seventeen years.

Born in 1978, Rev. Earley is the son of the late Rita J. Williams, and the grandson of the late Rev. Van Cornelous, Sr., who pastored the First Church of God in Harvey, IL. At the age of nine, he asked his mother, “What do I have to do to be saved?” and that evening – in the family living room – he received Christ as his Lord and Savior. He continued his childhood under the leadership of the late Dr. Marcus H. Morgan of Chicago, IL.

Pastor Earley obtained his bachelor’s degree in Management and Quantitative Methods from Illinois State University in 2000. With the guidance of his pastor at the time, Dr. E. Raymond Chin, he enrolled in Anderson University’s School of Theology, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 2003.

Rev. Earley graduated from the School of Theology a second time with a Doctor of Ministry degree in May of 2008. In October of 2013, a component of his dissertation, A Strategy to Transform the Lay Members of the Metropolitan Church of God into Ministers, was published by Warner Press as Every-Member Ministry: Spiritual Gifts and God’s Design For Service.

He has formerly served on the boards for the Detroit Branch NAACP, Urban League of Southeast Michigan, the Church of God in Michigan, and Anderson University. He has ministered within the National Association of the Church of God as the creator and director of the Leadership Academy and served as president of the National Inspirational Youth Convention from 2016-2019. As a chaplain for the Detroit Police Department Chaplain Corp, he rose to the rank of Commander Chaplain. Dr. Earley currently serves as the chaplain for Concerned Black Clergy, based in Atlanta and is a member of the Berean Fellowship, led by Bishop Timothy J. Clarke.

An ardent fan of the Chicago Bears, Dr. Earley and his lovely wife Precious Ann have been graced with three lovely children Kevin Wesley, Jr.; Kaleb Van; and Ky Elise.

First Lady Precious Earley

Precious A. Earley, First Lady

Resilient, gifted, and worshipper are three words that describe First Lady Precious Earley. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Precious studied Broadcast News Journalism at Ball State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree just months after marrying her childhood friend, Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Earley, in 2003.

Professionally, Precious' expertise is in the field of marketing and communications. She holds a Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University and she oversees social communications at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.

Precious is passionate about using the knowledge and experience she has gained secularly to advance the Kingdom of God. When God inspired Precious to merge her professional track with her gifting in 2015, she launched Chirp, LLC an independent integrated marketing and communications firm that specializes in creating solutions for non-profits and Christian faith-based institutions. When consulting, Precious has one goal in mind, to make God look good. From 2016-2019, she served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for the National Inspirational Youth Convention (NIYC).

Birthing three children in less than one year is one of her most treasured experiences. Precious and her husband have been graced to parent Kevin Wesley, Jr. and twins, Kaleb Van and Ky Elise.

Michael A. Smith, Lead Pastor 1998-2020

Rev. Michael Allan Smith, a native of Atlanta, GA, answered the call to ministry in 1977. He graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in music, and the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) with a M.Div. degree in Pastoral Care and Christian Education. In 1995 the Southern California School of Ministry conferred upon him the Doctor of Divinity degree.

Pastor Michael’s pastoral experience includes three congregations: Cove Road Church of God in Lafayette, GA (1980-1985), Cedar Avenue Church of God in Sharon, PA (1985-1998), and Community Church of God in Atlanta, GA (1998-2020). Currently, Pastor Michael serves as the State Pastor of the Georgia Fellowship of the Church of God.

Under Pastor Michael’s leadership, Community Church impacted people’s lives by ministering to the real needs of the community and beyond through partnerships with Remerge Ministry, Community Concerns Inc. and supported ministries in Haiti and Kenya, East Africa.

Pastor Michael is married to Rev. Felecia Pearson Smith and they are the parents of two adult children, Allan Rudolph (Vignette) and Allyson Felecia Smith and ecstatic grandparents of Allan Vincent.
Pastors & First Lady

Late Rudolph Smith, Founding Pastor

Rev. Dr. Rudolph Smith, the oldest of 10 children born to the late Andrew J. Smith, Sr. and Lizzie Steward Smith, made his debut into the world on October 19, 1930 in Glenwood (Wheeler County) Georgia. When he was six the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he was educated in the Atlanta Public Schools. A 1948 honors graduate from Booker T. Washington H.S., he served as senior class president and demonstrated athletic prowess by setting new high school state track records. Subsequently, he attended Morehouse College for two years before marrying his high school sweetheart, Edna Louise Knowles. He then deferred his college education to work with his father as a cement mason so he could support his family.

Answering the call to ministry in 1949 after attending the West Middlesex Campmeeting in PA, he was ordained by the Georgia Ministerial Association of the Church of God in Wadley, GA in 1954.

Believing that all ministers should prepare themselves to be servants of God and take advantage of every learning opportunity to equip themselves for the expansion of God’s kingdom, he returned to college and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Morris Brown College in 1961. He continued his education as a Protestant Fellowship Scholar and again graduated Magna Cum Laude with highest honors from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) seminary in 1964, thereby becoming the first African- American Church of God pastor to earn a M. Div. degree in Georgia. A goal early in his ministry was to serve churches in the South, particularly Georgia, and endeavor to upgrade the leadership of the church in this area.

Following graduation from seminary, he taught high school English for 10 years in the Atlanta Public School System, a position he resigned to become full time pastor of Community Church of God, a church he planted in 1966 and pastored for 32 years until Dr. Smith retired from the pastoral ministry in 1998. Upon his retirement, he was bestowed the title of Pastor Emeritus of Community Church of God, and is affectionally called “Pastor E” by the congregants. His former pastorates include the following churches: Cove Rd. Church of God in Lafayette, GA (1954-1957), Evening Light Church of God in Glenwood, GA (1957-1959), and Wabash St. Church of God in Dublin, GA (1958-1966). Following his retirement from Community Church of God, he served as interim pastor at the Central Community Church of God in Jackson, MS for three months.

Recognized as a gifted teacher and expositor of the Bible, he received two honorary doctorates in 1991: the Doctor of Divinity from Warner Southern College in February and the Doctor of Humane Letters from Anderson University in June.

Affectionally called “Rabbi” by many, Dr. Smith has faithfully served the church locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally. His first teaching assignment began in 1957 at the North Carolina State Youth Camp in Chapel Hill, NC, under the tutelage of the late Rev. Dr. Nancy A. Ford, where he also served as Dean of Boys until 1975. In 1956, he initiated the first state Church of God Youth Fellowship Convention, now known as Youth Inspirational Fellowship (YIF), in Georgia and in 1965 organized the first state youth camp in Georgia. During his tenure as pastor of Community Church of God he established the School of the Prophets in Atlanta which was designed to instruct and equip ministers and leaders for effective ministry.

In 1967 he began teaching at the In-Service Training Institute, sponsored by the National Association of the Church of God, and served as its Dean-Director from 1971-1991. He also organized and led a mini Institute in St. Kitts in 1980 and an African Institute in Kenya, East Africa in 1997 where he also taught classes and preached. Dr. Smith has also preached in London, England and Kingston, Jamaica and served as guest preacher and teacher extensively across the United States and more significantly in all the southern states. He is revered for his humility and ability to exegete the Word and has been called the “Bishop of the South”.

Other highlights of his leadership to the church-at-large include the following: Attended first board meeting for Bay Ridge Institute in Union, MS in 1959. Later served as trustee board member and board chair for Bay Ridge Christian College in Kendleton, TX. Chairman of the GA Ministerial Assembly and Campground (1965-1979; 1992-1999) Vice Chairman of Executive Council of the National Association of the Church of God (1971-1979, 1981-1987) Associate Director of Fund Campaigns with the Church of God National Board of Church Extensions and Home Missions, Anderson, IN (1975-2000) Chairman of the Southeastern Association of the Church of God, Augusta, GA (1977-1982) Served three five-year terms on the Executive Council of the Church of God, Anderson, IN (1981-1996) Church of God National Budget Committee, Anderson, IN (1984-1998, served as chair 1988-1998) Chair of the Leadership Development Board, National Association of the Church of God (1992-2000) Charter member of the Concerned Black Clergy in Atlanta, GA, (1984-present); recipient of their Distinguished Merit Award in June, 2016 Recipient of the Exemplary Leadership Award in July, 2016 by the GA Fellowship of the Church of God for his 60Years plus service to the state and on the national level.

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in August, 2016 by the National Association of the Church of God.

Associate Director of Fund Campaigns with the Board of Church Extensions and Home Missions, Dr. Smith helped many Church of God congregations across the country develop and implement their building fund and capital fund campaigns with the goal of erecting or buying new facilities.

Additionally, he has two scholarships named in his honor: (1)The Rev. Dr. Rudolph Smith Scholarship of Excellence established by the GA Youth Inspirational Fellowship (YIF) Convention of the Church of God and(2) The Rudolph Smith Scholarship of the Richardson Ecumenical Fellowship at The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Smith was the author of two books: Stewardship More than Money and People of Color in the Bible.

For 70 years he was married to his beloved wife, Edna, and they traveled extensively around the world, touring all 50 states and six continents. He was the proud father of Rev. Dr. Michael Allan Smith (Felecia) and Rev. Cheryl Smith Benefield, grandfather to Edwin, Allan (Vignette), Stefani, Allyson and Nathan, and great grandfather to Allan Vincent.