God’s Word Is Home for Chapel Speaker Yates
By Doug Carroll
The U.S. Postal Service stays plenty busy keeping track of Air Force families such as the one Smedly Yates grew up in.
The roll call for Yates: Texas (twice), New Mexico, Alaska, Arizona (twice), California (twice), Illinois and Tennessee (twice).
After bouncing around so much for so long, it’s no surprise that Yates, 36, seems happily rooted as one of two pastors at Grace Bible Church in Chandler, which began near the Arizona State University campus 10 years ago and now meets at Valley Christian High School.
He’s also firmly planted in preaching the Bible.“What God says never changes,” says Yates, who will speak about Jesus’ words on forgiveness from Matthew 18 at Monday’s Chapel.
“My goal is not to find the next new thing. Fads will come and go. But God knows our hearts, and His Word is sufficient to meet our needs. My style is ‘here’s the Bible.’ I’m not smart enough to offer anything else.”
Yates says his church’s emphasis is captured by two words in its name (“grace” and “Bible”).
“The Bible trumps everything else out there,” says Yates, whose church of 350 parishioners meets for one service on Sundays and gathers in a much smaller form at his home on Thursdays for Bible study.
“God cares about the truth and how the church is run, but not about tradition ruling the day. … There’s only growth from preaching (from the Bible). That’s where the power is.”
Yates, the son of an F-15 pilot, studied missionary aviation at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago before following a call into the ministry. His career includes a six-year stint as a youth pastor in Nashville.
Matthew 18 speaks in a special way to believers, Yates says, and he’ll expound on that in his visit to campus.
“What you do with forgiveness says a lot about yourself and your relationship with God,” he says.
Chapel meets at 10:45 a.m. each Monday in GCU Arena.
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.