Pastor Lesa Smith is no stranger to Grace UMC. Her mother, father and three siblings moved three blocks from Grace Church in the summer of 1964. Her brother, Mark, was born a year later. The family joined Grace Church in 1965 after Florence Heights Methodist Church closed. Rev. Ennis Whaley, the first African-American pastor appointed to Grace Church, was the first to share with the young adult Lesa that he saw evidence of pastoral ministry gifts and graces in her. A few years later, she entered the ordination process and enrolled at the Claremont School of Theology where she completed the Licensed Local Pastor Course of Study and Advanced Course of Study programs. Her pastoral appointments include: Martin Luther King, Jr. UMC, Holman UMC (Associate Pastor), Inglewood First UMC and Dominguez UMC.
In addition to her ministry in local churches, for the past five years, she has also served as the Executive Director of the Living into the Future Foundation.
Pastor Lesa has two adult daughters, Zaneta and Ebony, who reside in Inglewood, CA.
One of Associate Pastor Lesa’s favorite scriptures is: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6