And there's a Bible study for young adults, called Off the Hook, on the first and third Tuesday of the month.

All of which underscores the busy schedule Smalls keeps as he ministers to his diverse flock, which includes Catholics, Pentecostals and Episcopalians. The largest international contingent hails from Nigeria, followed by Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and the Caribbean.

Smalls' duties run from sitting with a member who passed away while he was holding her hand, to teaching young adult Bible study, attending meetings, helping plan funerals, and dealing with any conflict-resolution items and hospital visits that come along.

There are also his responsibilities as a husband and the father of three young children, which Smalls said include running errands and driving the children to school.


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Smalls, 42, is a native of Washington who holds a master's degree in divinity from Gammon Theological Seminary, in Atlanta.

He said many of his members drive from Baltimore, Potomac and Upper Marlboro to be fed spiritually. In return, he begins crafting his sermons early enough in the week so as to, upon deep reflection, make any needed changes as his heart guides him.

"I want you to be assured you're loved by God," he declared. "We beat ourselves up; we get a lot of wear and tear.

"I want you to be informed how God works. I want you to be exposed to good theology. And I want you to be inspired to do something for others on behalf of Christ."

For Guest, Queens Chapel has become home. "Spiritually, it feeds me through the sermons. I have been able to apply what Rev. Smalls has preached about to my own life," she said.

"I am able to understand the message, absorb it, and apply it. ... Everyone (at Queens Chapel) is always willing to listen, always able to provide advice and is always there to provide a shoulder to lean on."