A pioneer and trailblazer, she is uninhibited in the midst of challenges.
Pastor Mary Overstreet-Smith was called to the ministry 34 years ago by founding and serving as Pastor of Powerhouse Temple C.O.G.I.C.
She has raised 14 children (mother of 6) (8 foster & adopted). She has 16 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren & 4 great-great grandchildren.
In addition to serving as a Marriage and Family counselor, she is a member of United States Chaplain Association of America where she is a counselor and mentor. Dr. Smith holds a Special Investigator’s license and is the CEO of Special Investigations of Oregon. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice, Social Work and Nursing (LPN), BS in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Pharmacology.
Radio & TV Ministry
Dr. Smith is the founder and Director of Harvest Time Ministry Cable T.V. Services for 24 years (Channels 11, 22, & 33). She also hosts Harvest Time Ministries Presents which highlights community efforts (Channels 11, 22, & 33) Sunday-Sunday. She has hosted the Way of the Cross Radio Hour on KKPZ 1330 AM dial for 12 years, 9 years on KGAR Radio.
Known to millions as “Pastor Mary” and most recently nicknamed, “Hurricane Mary” for her humanitarian efforts, she displayed by putting her own home up for sale to provide homes for Hurricane Katrina victims. She provided furnished apartments for the Katrina victims to live in and paid their transportation cost to Portland. She was instrumental in helping them get a fresh start here in Oregon by contacting services that could help them.
Dr. Smith recently founded the award winning North by Northeast Community Health Center, which provides free health screenings and basic medical services to uninsured adults in inner North and Northeast Portland. The clinic celebrated its first year anniversary on August 17th 2007.
Ministry for the Homeless
In 1977, Dr. Smith founded a food bank for low-income residents still in operation. She also leads a drive that distributes clothing and coats to the homeless twice a year. In 1980, Dr. Smith founded a homeless and emergency shelter that has served hundreds of people over the years. Backpacks with school supplies are given to school age children.
Since 1967, she is one of only a few women ministers who go to the jails and prisons on a consistent basis providing a network of services to the inmates’ families—from spiritual support to counseling and mentoring, to donations of food and toys for inmates’ families. She founded Straight Talk on the Inside (which allows no profanity) and Straight Talk on the Outside for ex-inmates transitioning back into society. Her outstanding efforts have reduced the rate of inmates reentering the system.
At Risk Youth Ministry & Mentorship
Her active participation in the Northeast Gang Intervention Program provides free counseling to gang members who are in transition of changing their lives. In addition, she provides tutoring and a mentoring program for youth of the city who want a better life for themselves. She gives College Scholarships to deserving students in the City and surrounding areas.
Sir J. Millage Autistic Center for Change
Inspired to remedy the lack of services available to her own autistic great-grandson Pastor Mary has founded The Sir J. Millage Autistic Center for Change. Plans are in place to purchase a building that will house a center for those with autistic behaviors as well as their family members and caregivers. This facility will offer a safe supportive, environment, counseling, summer camp programs, mentoring, opportunities for personal development and much more. This center will provide a sorely needed sense of community for those with this disability.
AIDS and HIV Ministry
Since 1989, she connects with those affected by the virus that has touched so many lives. She has made a tremendous difference in so many of the lives that she has come into contact with. As a counselor and mentor, she has assisted with food, transportation, housing, and medical care. She speaks at many events associated with AIDS and HIV awareness.
2005, Foster Parent of the Year by Governor Kulongoski (16 years as a foster parent)
2006, Honored by the Chief’s Forum, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Salvation Army and the Skanner Newspaper for her humanitarian efforts. As well as the John H. Jackson award.
2006, Equal Opportunity Award for her important contribution in health care access for her establishment of a free adult medical clinic providing health care for residents in N/NE Portland.
2007, The Paul Harris Fellowship from the Rotary Club for her work in bringing numerous families from areas affected by Hurricane Katrina/Rita to Portland. As well as the 2007 World Peace Award from the Universal Peace Federation, USA.
There are many more awards that are too numerous to mention.