Before being appointed to the faculty, Smith served Southern Seminary as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow. He has been a church planter in Tennessee and a pastor in Tennessee and Kentucky, currently serving as teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville. Smith is a past first vice president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has taken short-term missions trips to the Caribbean and Africa. He has been a visiting professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an instructor at Lee University. Smith is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the American Society of Church History.