I will never forget my first encounter with Joe Q. Smith. I arrived on the South Georgia Church Of God Campground for youth camp and as I walked through the door of that old wooden cabin the room was dark because of the towering man who stood in front of the 100 watt bulb in the ceiling. His voice seemed to make the window panes shake and I thought I had been dropped off at a boot camp. Although I had been to camp for many years I could tell that this one would be special. It didn’t take long for me to find out that “Brother Joe Q.” was a Florida Gator fan and I was trying to figure out how in the world he had been approved to work camp with this on his record. I can honestly say that it was a week that I will always remember. I saw a giant of a man who had the love of Jesus and for Jesus! I have never felt more safe at camp than I did that week because I knew if “anything” tried to bother us Brother Joe Q. could rip it apart with his bare hands. But even more so I felt safe because of the genuine love shown to me by this giant of a man! He taught me and my fellow campers the Word, he led us in worship, we would clean and clean and clean and clean(Cleanest Cabin Award EVERYDAY), he taught us how to make a bed so tight that a quarter would flip on it and oh yeah he let us pillow fight!!!!! He would pillow fight with us….one solid lick from his pillow and you were out for the night!
For the years following that first encounter, I had the opportunity to watch Bro. Joe Q. serve and lead with integrity. I witnessed his serving God and the church with both humility and strength.