Bio for Rev. Lester A. Smalls,
Pastor Smalls was born in New York City in 1952, to Harold and Leila Smalls. He was the fifth child of seven siblings. At the age of 18 months, due to his mother’s health, he was brought south to Aiken, SC to be raised by his Grandmother, Mrs. Laura Woodward Cobb. As an adolescent, he attended church Mt. Harris Baptist Church in Aiken, SC with his grandmother. At the age of nine, Lester joined the Friendship Baptist Church in Aiken, SC., where his letter remains today.
Growing up at Friendship, Smalls was a member of Boy Scout Troop 63, he also participated in all of the choirs per his age over the years. And as a young adult, he played piano for the youth and other various choirs in the church.
Rev. Smalls, started his music career as a young teenager and performed playing bass guitar and keyboards with bands for many years. Smalls continued playing music leading his own bands playing all over the southeast including performing in such venues as the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Agora Ballroom etc. Smalls groups has performed with and backed up many of the Soul Music stars of the 70s and 80s. It was his first band, the EbonysticeSmalls band, Hearts of Fire drew the interest of Jason Perlmutter, a North Carolina soul music enthusiast and writer.
Rev. Smalls cut his recording studio teeth when he was around 20 years old. Recording his first project with his group the Ebonystics. The recording, “Married To One” and “Ain’t It Good To Ya.” Today this recording is a highly sought after “oldie” in the United Kingdom and has recently been found on EBay selling for more than $250.00. The recording can be found on YouTube at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ4HKORg3ts .
After college where he attended South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina at Aiken, both on full scholarships, Smalls joined the United States Air Force. Before completing his first term with the Air Force, Smalls career was put on hold when he was forced seek a discharge to take care of his aging grandmother. Smalls, who was a merited Airman requested and was granted an Honorable Discharge on the basis of “Hardship” and he returned to Aiken and took care of his beloved grandmother until her death in 1974. It was the greatest and most gratifying decision in my life to care for my Grandmother in her last years. I made sure that she had nothing to worry about in her final years,” Smalls states.
After continuing schooling and working at various placed of employment, Smalls was hired by E.I. DuPont de Nemours, contractor for the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in Aiken County, SC. Smalls worked at the site for more than twenty years. During his career at SRP, Smalls served as a Computer Systems Administrator and IS Trainer and Technician where he was responsible for implementing much of the evolving desktop computer technology for first use at the site as well specializing in software implementation and training. Smalls also helped design and implement various reactor process components while he served as a Project Assistant. interests.
In 1994 Smalls answered a call to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was licensed by the Late Rev. Alf Mills and the Friendship Baptist Church in Aiken, SC through the Storm Branch Association. During his ministerial development Smalls moved to First Providence Baptist Church in North Augusta, SC, where he served as Minister of Music as he developed as a young minister. In 1999, the Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr. and the First Providence Baptist Church, upon successful examination by the Mt. Canaan Association, ordained Smalls. Smalls continued to farther his Ministerial training by attending various Bible training programs including Southern Bible Institute and Seminary where he earned a Masters in Theology.
In 1995, Smalls resigned his position as SRP to pursue other aspirations. During this time, having significate computer related credentials, Smalls started Pro PC, where he provided computer software and hardware service, training and consulting for home, businesses and churches.
In 1996, Smalls started work for the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Beech Island, SC as a Production Operator. In less than 8 months Smalls was reassigned to the training department where he developed training materials and trained production operators. A short time later he was promoted to exempt roll in the Human Resources Department where he developed and administrated a computer support help desk. In this capacity he assisted in plant hiring as well as computer training for the entire location.
Smalls is an experienced studio musician and producer. In 1985 he stopped performing secular music. Even though he always participated in some capacity in his church, in 1988 a friend asked him to assume the leadership of a church choir in Augusta, Smalls began to develop a committed interest in Gospel music. In the next eight years Smalls produced one Gospel single and four Gospel albums (Records were still vinyl until early 1990s). During these years Smalls arranged and produced “You Can’t Hide” by Rev. M.C. Adams and the New Exodus Mass Choir, “Jesus Will Fix It” and “ I Can’t Even Walk” by Wisdom and “It’s Time To Make A Change” and “I Feel The Spirit” by the Bold Mass Choir. It was “I Feel The Spirit” that drew the interest of First Lite Records of Hartsville, SC and as a result Bold Mass and Wisdom was signed to First Lite Records. It should be noted that Smalls has served as musician for several churches in the CSRA over the years.
In 1995, Smalls took a position with 95.3 FM WKWQ Radio Station in Batesburg /Leesville, SC. Smalls served as morning host for more than a year before taking a position with Kimberly-Clark.
Smalls is the owner of LASMALLS Publishing, a BMI affiliated publishing company. LASMALLS is a sub-component of LAS Ministries and Publishing. In 2000, under LAS Ministries (aka LASMIN, LLC), Smalls started The Informer News, an African American Newspaper. The publication served the community for more than eleven years.
Seeking to further his work and commitment to the Church, in 2009, Smalls completed course work in Church Consultancy. He’s currently at Level 4 and is working toward National Certification as a Level 5 Consultant.
In 1999, Smalls was called to Pastor the Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Aiken, SC where he has served since and is now in his thirteenth year as Pastor.
In May 2008, Smalls was asked to assume the leadership at WAAW 94.7 FM Radio. Smalls came to WAAW with a 5 year plan to move the station forward. Over the last four years, Smalls has led the station to new heights as well as made many improvements. During this time he has positioned the station as a ‘community partner’ as well as built stronger relationships with the business community. The station’s staff is known as the “Jesus Team.” Smalls along with his wife Gwen hosts the program Church Matters aired every Saturday 10 AM on WAAW 947.FM.
Smalls is married to Gwendolyn S. Smalls a Registered Nurse. Together they have six children, five daughters and one son.
Bio for Rev. Lester A. Smalls,