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The City of Pittsburgh was blessed over the years with a number of preachers who not just gifted orators, but possessed the courage and integrity to challenge a system that continued to relegate Blacks to the ongoing status of second-class citizenship. The majority of these voices are now retired or muted by age, illness or silenced by death.

However this week’s column will focus on a pastor who is not abandoning Pittsburgh and its multitude of problems; he is moving on with his life and will continue to challenge injustices at an international level. The individual is Rev. Thomas Edison Smith.

I witnessed his growth over the years from a youthful minister to a pastor; there is a distinct difference.

In 1985—29 years ago, a youthful minister Rev. Thomas E. Smith was installed as the minister in Monumental Baptist Church on Wylie Avenue.  He followed in the steps of one of those legendary pastors that had stood up for the people and preached God’s Word.

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