Stephen Smith has a bachelor’s degree in History from Taylor University and a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Dallas Theological Seminary.
From childhood, Steve attended a small, controlling church in southern Maine. In 1997, his twin brother left the church and was shunned. Steve remained in the church and became an assistant to the pastor. In 2008 Steve entered seminary in Dallas, and in 2010 he grew concerned about the nature of leadership in his home church. Shortly thereafter, his pastor was hospitalized and the church recognized that they had been spiritually abused. A church consulting agency helped the remaining leadership make the decision to close the church and send people to healthy churches in the community. Steve reconciled with his twin brother and started to research about spiritual abuse. His summative paper at Dallas Seminary was on the nature of spiritual authority. His home church no longer exists.
Because of his own painful background in a legalistic and controlling church, Steve is passionate about the topic of spiritual abuse and wants to help other people to recognize healthy and unhealthy spiritual authority based upon biblical principles.
Steve has been interviewed by reporters from the Texas Monthly and al-Jazeera America on the topic of cults.
He also writes another blog, The Gift of Small Things, a site dedicated to the value and sanctity of small things. Not just physically small things, but things that are little valued in our time: old things, young things, poor and rural and broken things. Uncompetitive things, imperfect things, inefficient and obscure and unborn things. Honorable, faithful, and devoted things. Things which fail to pad the bottom line but which nevertheless shape our souls. Such things are gifts from God.
Steve lives with his wife and sons in Columbus, Ohio.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org