First Female Presiding Elder appointed in Oregon and Washington Conference.
On July 9, 2017 Reverend Joyce M. Smith, Pastor of Community African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church for the past 8 years was appointed by Bishop Staccato Powell to the position of Presiding Elder of the Oregon and Washington
Conference, Cascade District, of the AME Zion Church.
Reverend Joyce pastored Pauline Memorial AME Zion Church in Salem, Oregon for 20 years commuting 136 miles a day nurturing and growing the congregation.
During her time at Pauline Memorial, they paid off the mortgage on the church. They also purchased the land
next to the church and had a modular office building installed. It is being used today to feed hundreds of homeless and hungry families.
In 2009 she was brought back home to Community AME Zion Church, in Vancouver, Washington where her
journey began over 30 years ago. Since then she has paid off the church rental properties and the church has
grown to 162 members.
With her innovative ideas of outreach, Community AME Zion Church is known for feeding the hungry at the
Sharehouse, bible study weekly at Arbor Ridge Assistant Living, bible study at Clark County Work Release
Center, Church in the Park and community block parties. Introducing all to Jesus Christ, winning souls and
baptizing those who come to Christ.
She currently is a board member on the Police Chief’s Diversity Advisory Team for the City of Vancouver
Sought after, anointed speaker and singer throughout the Pacific Northwest, Presiding Elder Smith has been
married to Jack Smith Sr. for 52 years. From this great union, they have 3 sons, 4 grandchildren and 3 great
Presiding Elder Smith was born in Mexia, Texas and graduated from Dunbar High School. She also attended
Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon. Presiding Elder Smith retired from WorkSourceWA in
Vancouver after 25 years as an Employment Specialist and Trainer.
Presiding Elder Smith is very excited about her new appointment. She thanks the Lord and Bishop Powell for
trusting God and having the foresight and the wisdom to see Presiding Elder qualities in her. After all, the
previous Presiding Elder the Rev. Dr. Robert F. Kemp, has set the bar very high.