Coat of Arms
Bishop Mark Allen Smith, B.S.Ed., B.S., M.Ed., Th.D.
The episcopal hearldic achievement, commonly known as the bishop's coat of arms, is composed of an emblem, the central and most important feature of any heraldic device, surrounded by traditional symbols of the bishop's office.
Bishop Smith’s arms are drawn from the idea of his one and only ministry work… The GEM!!! Born in Milan, Tennessee, he began his ministry on the continent of Africa, in Djibouti, Djibouti. It was there he was thrust into active preaching while serving in the military, providing ministry to service members in a deployed location. Prior to this, he faithfully served his local assembly for five years in prayer and the study God’s Word.
The personal coat of arms assumed by Bishop Smith combines symbols that are meaningful to him, reflecting his spiritual life and priestly ministry. As a bishop without jurisdiction, Bishop Smith’s design covers the entirety of the device. The Gem represents the Saints of the Kingdom of God, and is purple which symbolizes royalty and the passion of the Christ. God has placed a GEM into the body of Christ. The Mitre is the symbol of the Office of the Bishop, the Keys represent the authority, and the Shepherd’s Staff is a symbol of the governing office of a bishop.
The motto below the emblem is, Ekklesia, taken from Matthew 16:18, “And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church (Ekklesia), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Ekklesia (Ek-lek-toos) “electic” EK “out of,” lego “to pick, gather.”
The achievement is completed by the external ornamentation, which is the pontifical hat, called a “galero,” that is black with its six tassels in three rows on either side of the shield, all in purple.