L.A. Focus News interviewed Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, for its “pastor profile.”
Smith-Pollard shared the story of how she found her calling as a minister and how she started Word of Encouragement Church at the Pico Union Project.
“I’ve known that encouragement is my spiritual gift. Trying to encourage people–what does God have you here for. That comes out of me not knowing it for such a long time. Once you figure out what you’re here for, it just changes your whole perspective. I also know that I’m gifted in preaching.
Ironically, before he passed away, my grandfather said [his] grandmother…always prayed that there would be a preacher in the family. ‘They all thought it was me, but,’ he said to me, ‘it’s you.'”