We had the good fortune of connecting with Evita Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evita, what matters most to you?
One the most important values or principles for me is being authentic. We live in a society that tries to define what everything should be. Society tries to define such things as: beauty, success, influence, love, etc. Based on what the culture or society says begins to be the measuring tool or lens in which people judge themselves and others. When they don’t meet these criteria, people feel like they do not measure up.
When one decides to be authentic, they make a decision to show up as their full self unapologetically. In turn, the right people are drawn to that person, business or organization. Additionally, one does not have to feel pressured to be what society says they should be. It frees one up to be creative, innovative and offer things that are not carbon copies of what already exists.
Authenticity or being authentic is important to me because it allows me to be myself. It allows me the freedom to be unique. Additionally, it invites those whom I come in contact with either through ministry, business or friendships to do the same.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am blessed to be able to pursue two callings and passions. In some ways they complement each other. I am the founding pastor of Kingdom Seekers Community Church, a non-denominational Christian Church in Atlanta, GA. I am also the founder of Exceptional Living Empowerment Coaching & Training. A life coaching practice dedicated to helping women design the life they desire so they can live it exceptionally – mind, body and spirit.
With both the Church and the business, it excites me to journey with people as they discover who God created them to be and begin to live it out. Whether it is a new convert to the faith or a woman coming to me for coaching, I have the privilege to join with people at a critical point in their lives as they begin a new journey toward new life either in Christ or on the path of their purpose or goals.
Growing up as a preacher’s kid, I have been in the Church all my life. I loved going to church. I loved the learning through biblical teaching. I loved the community aspect as the people at church were like extended family. I loved growing in faith. Even as a teenager, I felt a sense of calling that I would not fully accept until adulthood. As I accepted the calling to ministry, I felt a strong calling to help people. After experiencing a divorce, I was able to minister to other women from my own experience. I was able to share about rebuilding my own life post divorce. Through this experience, it led me to pursue a coaching training and certification. After obtaining my certification, I launched Exceptional Living as a way to serve the needs of women seeking to re-define and re-design their lives.
Building a ministry or business is not an easy experience. Especially as a woman coming face to face with the gender bias that can exist within ministry. At the time I started the ministry, I was a young woman which came with it own set of challenges from an age and gender perspective. In order to overcome the challenges, I had to seek the wisdom of mentors about how to handle the challenges I faced. I also had to be determined to stay the course despite the challenges. Knowing this is what God called me to be and do, I could not allow the pressures and obstacles to keep me from pursuing it.
As a pastor and entrepreneur, I have learned some valuable lessons along the way. First, I’ve learned the importance of believing in yourself and your pursuits. Many people will not understand, some won’t support and others may walk away. However, you have to keep going forward in what you know you are meant to do. Secondly, find your support system. When the difficulties come and you want to quit, you need those who are in your corner to keep you from quitting. You need those who are in your corner to keep you grounded when you experience times of great success. Lastly, I’ve learned the necessity in continuing to educate yourself and grow in your areas of discipline. The world is constantly changing. You have to be able to change with the times. The pandemic showed us the importance of learning to pivot to meet the demands of changing times. By staying current on the latest trends, research and culture one is able to stay innovative and relevant.
There are no shortage of churches or coaches in the metro area. What I want people to know about Kingdom Seekers is we are not the traditional church. We are for those who have grown tired of traditional church but seeking a place that is Kingdom minded. A place where they can ask the difficult questions and get the answers they seek. A place where they can be accepted for who they are. A place where they can experience the true love of God welcoming them into authentic relationship.
In terms of coaching, I seek to help the woman who has discovered she is not living the life of her dreams but is ready to put in the work to achieve it. Just because we experience challenges and setbacks does not mean we cannot overcome them to design and pursue the life of our dreams. It is my desire to journey with her to help her birth that vision and see her design manifest into an exceptional life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta is such a great city for culture and experiences. I would want to create an itinerary to appeal to all senses. I would schedule a visit to:
1) The Civil Rights Museum
2) The High Museum of Art
3) The Atlanta Selfie Museum (fun friend shots)
For a little outdoor adventure:
1) A hike up Stone Mountain
2) A trail hike along the Chattahoochee at Cochran Shoals
3) An outdoor walk at Piedmont Park and visit the nearby shops
For meals, we would venture to local eateries:
1) The Flying Biscuit
2) The Busy Bee (gotta have the soul food)
3) Slutty Vegan
4) Cinco Mexican Restaurant
For a little fun:
1) Top Golf
2) Loca Luna (who doesn’t like a little salsa dancing and dinner)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my mother, Evelyn L. Smith. She always encouraged her daughters to pursue their dreams and be anything they wanted to be. She did not allow us to limit ourselves because of our gender. She made sure we were fighters. She is a fighter. Overcoming many illnesses, she never allowed it to defeat her. She told us we could overcome any adversity to reach our dreams and goals. Her wisdom, encouragement and support of my ministry and business continues to push me forward.
Instagram: @kingdom_seekers_cc and @electcoaching
Facebook: @ELECTCoaching and @KingdomSeekersCommunityChurch
Youtube: Kingdom Seekers Community Church and Exceptional Living Empowerment
Vintage Photography A. Blueprints Graphics