Each morning, often before 7 a.m., Dr. Lonnie Smith arrives at his office to prepare for the day’s responsibilities. “I like to arrive on campus early,” he said. “I go over my notes for the day’s lectures, update PowerPoint slides, and read to increase my understanding of new research in management and marketing.” For the past 11 years, Dr. Smith has dedicated time every day preparing to invest in his students. His ministry at the College helps equip the next generation for a promising future in business.
In his home state of Kentucky, Dr. Smith had a wide-ranging career in various roles. For more than 25 years before becoming a teacher, he was a copier technician and sales representative; he was also the owner and founder of a contracting business, retail shop, and a real estate and property management company. He’s taught 5th−9th grade science, English, math, high school Bible, economics, and MS Excel at Landmark Christian Academy. Dr. Smith has a bachelor’s in religious education and obtained a real estate license in 1983. He enjoyed coaching high school basketball and soccer and church softball for more than 20 years.
“I’m thankful to have had 25 years of business experience in sales, service, management, and small business ownership from which to draw,” Dr. Smith said. “From a practitioner’s standpoint, I enjoyed the opportunity and challenge to create value and gain customer confidence while building a successful business.”
While teaching middle and high school students before coming to Pensacola Christian College, Dr. Smith began pursuing his M.B.A. with intentions of returning to the business field. But when former PCC Promotions Director Gregg Bryant visited his school and suggested he may be a good fit for the College, Dr. Smith took the chance to explore the opportunity.
The Lord allowed Dr. Lonnie Smith and his wife to settle in Pensacola, and he began teaching business courses and mentoring college students. The businesses he had started at home were either sold or taken over by family members. To expand his understanding of business management even further and become more effective in the classroom, Dr. Smith pursued a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in management from the University of South Alabama, which he completed in 2018.
On faculty, Dr. Smith enjoys meeting individually with students, hearing their plans, and talking them through their concerns about the future. “I have forged many great friendships with former students. I am especially grateful for those who are most eager to learn. In the classroom, during one-on-one discussions about business, real estate, and job searches—what I enjoy most is interacting with the students.”
One of Dr. Smith’s current students, Harrison Jones (Sr., GA), shared, “Dr. Smith applies the concepts he teaches to real-world problems he’s faced and shows us how to deal with them proactively. He often tells us stories about the small businesses he’s started in the past,” he said. “In the times I’ve spent meeting with him outside of class, Dr. Smith has helped me realize the career possibilities and potential I have after graduation. Dr. Smith is always eager to hear about my career interests or the questions I have about pursuing a master’s degree. He’s excited to help me develop and pursue them.”
When asked what his favorite class is to teach, Dr. Smith answered, “Impossible to say—the students make all the classes my favorite.”
As the sun rises and students start milling about campus,
Dr. Lonnie Smith is ready and eager to meet with and teach his students. The time he devotes to preparing continues to make a difference in the next generation of business professionals.
Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.