FRESNO – “OK, Lord, I’ve got 20 blank pages. What are we going to do this month?” Holly Smith, managing editor of the California Southern Baptist (CSB), seeks God’s guidance and design for every issue of the monthly newsjournal of California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC).
“I don’t want this to sound too simplistic, but I’m always amazed,” Holly said. “The Lord faithfully provides interesting stories for every issue. I’m not a designer, so I rely on his guidance and creativity to show me what to do.”
Holly is responsible for all aspects of the paper’s production, as well as advertising, billing and circulation management. As a good steward of limited resources, she generates stories from pictures and text submitted by churches, from other state papers, and from Baptist Press articles of interest to Californians.
“My goal for the paper is to encourage our church members by showing them how God is working in California. I want the CSB to be readable and enjoyable and mean something. It would be a great help to have people provide more information about their churches,” Holly said.
The past year has been challenging for Holly – her father died last November, and in April she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Subsequent surgery and chemotherapy have caused her to rely even more on God’s provision, guidance and care.
“I’ve learned so much more than I thought I already knew about God’s grace in these last few months, and I’m so grateful that He never leaves or forsakes us. I’ve also learned even more how dear my co-workers and friends are, as they’ve taken unbelievably good care of me, since my mother is in a care facility and I have no other family in California.
“I am blessed beyond measure.”
Holly is a businessperson with a ministry heart. Born and raised in Fresno, Holly’s connection to the Convention started at age two when her mother began working for the Sunday School Department. Her father worked in the composing room of The Fresno Bee for 30 years. She brings personal understanding of Convention life and a gift for writing and the language to the CSB.
Music is also a huge part of who Holly is. Following her mom’s example, she began playing piano for church when she was 13. Although she battles daily with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she is on the worship team of Copper Springs Church in Clovis, playing piano for two morning worship services.
“He has provided strength for things that I really shouldn’t have been able to do. When I’m so tired that I think I can’t go on, He sustains me for what He has called me to,” Holly confided. “First Peter 4:11 says to do all that you do in the strength that God provides so that in everything He is glorified.”
Holly recites this line from her favorite hymn every day: “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
Holly’s prayer requests:
Pray that the Lord will continue to provide news and stories for publication that will encourage and uplift California Southern Baptists.
Pray that the Lord will continue to guide the newspaper staff when making decisions.
Pray for generous giving to the California Mission Offering and the Cooperative Program.
Pray for God's touch as Holly continues to heal.
Praise God for His great faithfulness.
Praise God for His daily presence as we work on the California Southern Baptist.
Praise God for bringing His light to the people of California.
Did you know?
The California Southern Baptist is published monthly as a Cooperative Program ministry of California Southern Baptist Convention. The CSB presents God at work around the state.
A new digital edition of the paper was launched in May, and is available for just $5 per year; the print piece is still $9.50 for a year. Group subscriptions are 66 cents per address per month for the print edition; cost for the E-dition is on a sliding scale based on worship attendance.
Subscribe online at www.csbc.com/csb or send address information with a check payable to CSBC to the California Southern Baptist, 678 E. Shaw Avenue, Fresno CA 93710; or call 559-229-9533, ext. 225. Send news submissions and digital pictures to the above address or to email@example.com.
Holly’s contact information
Managing Editor, The CSB
678 E. Shaw Avenue
Fresno CA 93710-7704
E-mail Holly Smith