Reverend George F. DeFord, D. Min., Pastor
Smith Chapel United Methodist Church
LaPlata (Pisgah), Maryland
Rev. George D. DeFord is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended public schools. He is a graduate of Morgan and Coppin State Universities, earning Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education (Correctional Counseling) degrees respectively. After answering the call to Christian ministry, he matriculated at Howard University School of Divinity, earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.
Pastor DeFord organized the Lenten Services for the Route 210 Corridor of Churches for southern Prince George’s and western Charles Counties in the spring of 2001. He founded the Morgan State University Southern Maryland Alumni Chapter while pastor of Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, Maryland. The said alumni chapter was organized in October 2004 and chartered in May 2005. As of September 2018, a total of $67,000 in scholarships were awarded to first time scholars from Southern Maryland including previous awardees matriculating at Morgan State University.
Pertinent to pastoral ministry, Pastor DeFord availed Smith Chapel UMC to Safe Nights program, wherein Lifestyles of Maryland, Inc., seeks shelter during the winter months for homeless adults and children. He encourages members of Smith Chapel’s Outreach Team to provide meals to residents of the Robert Fuller Transition House, Waldorf, MD. Also, he is a strong supporter of prison ministries; several members are trained in Kairos Prison Ministry with a focus on incarcerated women.
Rev. DeFord is the author of two books: Experiences in Serving African-American Churches in Context: Urban Suburban Rural, and Celebrating Life in African-American Tradition. His first book is a summary of twenty-nine years as an active ordained pastor and Conference Regional Guide in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. His second book focused on celebration of live services in African-American churches.
Rev. DeFord retired in May 2011 subsequent to which he became a District Superintendent’s Hire serving Smith Chapel United Methodist Church. His mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. To this end, his worship services are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a strong advocate for Bible study, prayer and ministry to the marginalized and oppressed.
Rev. DeFord and his wife Lila, affectionately called, “His girlfriend and wife who is one and the same” make their retirement home in Pomfret, Maryland. Together they are the parent of three adult sons, one of whom transitioned in May 2018, and grandparents of two grandsons. He continues to thank and praise God for the opportunity to serve in the Gospel Ministry of Jesus Christ.
To God be the Glory.