Pastor Smith was born in Florida and converted at the age of eighteen. He attended Mid-South Bible College in Memphis, TN, where, surprisingly, he was first introduced to the Doctrines of Grace and Reformed theology. He later transferred to Bryan College in Dayton, TN, where he received his bachelor’s degree, and, more importantly, met his wife, Jenny. From there he went to Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS and graduated with an M. Div.
After attending a private academy for two years he and his family moved back to Rockford, IL in 1987. Shortly after arriving in Rockford Dale began leading the home Bible study that Al Huber and a few other families had initially started the year before. In December of 1987 that group began meeting once a month for worship and eventually became Grace Reformed Baptist Church. Dale became the first pastor of the church and remains a faithful laborer in this field.
Pastor Smith has represented Grace Reformed Baptist Church on two overseas mission trips and will continue that service from time to time.
Dale and Jenny have eight children.
Allen Huber was born in 1952 in Sparta Wisconsin where he lived on a farm until his family moved to Florida when he was eight and then to Rockford when he was 15.
Al was raised in the Lutheran church as a child. He was an alter boy and was confirmed at about 12 years old, but did not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. He stopped attending church when he was about 14 and lived as an unbeliever for the next 9 years or so. At the age of 19 he went to work as a machinist in Rockford. It was while working as a machinist at the age of 21that a man came to his place of employment and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified to a number of the night shift employees. Al was the only one of that group to respond to the call of God to receive Christ that night.
Over a process of many years of growth and learning in several churches and through much study and reading on his own, he eventually came to embrace much of that system of teaching we embrace here in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.
He served as a deacon and eventually as an elder in the Loves Park Evangelical Free Church in the early to mid 1980s. In late 1986 or early 1987 the Huber family became a part of the initial small group that had formed to study the Bible and The Confession of Faith. In December of 1987 that group began meeting once a month for worship services that for several months were held in the Huber home. Eventually, that group became Grace Reformed Baptist Church.
Al met Lori, his wife to be at a Christmas Party at the church she attended and they were married in 1974. They now have 5 children, 1 boy, and 4 girls, all of which are walking with the Lord. All of the children are married and there are a plethora of grandchildren.
In 1996 Allen became the 2nd Elder of GRBC. Sensing that God was calling him to that work and realizing the need to be properly equipped to “Shepherd the flock”, Al embarked in a training program with NANC ( National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) and has been certified as a counselor by that organization. He has had many occasions to use his counseling gifts both inside and outside the church. For several years he served on the Board of Directors for The Biblical Counseling Center of Arlington Heights, Illinois where he received his NANC counseling training.
Al and Lori have owned and operated a machine shop in Loves Park since 1983. With many trial and tribulations, NAFCO has none the less been blessed by the Lord with much success over the years. Al leads a 30-45 minute mid morning Bible study at the shop once a week. Every employee is welcome to attend. This ministry seems to have produced some fruit, even some conversions to Christ over the years. God has also provided a number of very faithful employees, managers and supervisors that make it possible for Al to have more time to be engaged in ministry than he otherwise would have.