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“Oh God, I’m Dying!”

New book by CIU president details life-changing car wreck


The other driver suddenly veered across the center line and rammed into his car at a high rate of speed. He survived, but barely. Every day since that 1996 crash, debilitating pain has been his constant, uninvited companion.

But pain is only part of Dr. Mark Smith’s story.

How did Mark and his wife, Debbie, persevere through a bleak medical prognosis and months of excruciating rehab? How did they stave off resentment over someone else’s carelessness?  How has Smith fought through ongoing pain to serve with extraordinary success as the president of two universities?

Smith, who serves as president of Columbia International University, answers those questions in the book, co-authored with CIU Professor Emeritus Dr. Terry Powell. It details how the Smiths experienced God’s sustaining grace through heartfelt prayer, the Bible, the Church, Christian music and medical intervention. The result of reading his story will be renewed hope that God can use broken people, enhancing their usefulness to Him not in spite of suffering, but because of it.

Smith desires that the book especially touch the hearts of those suffering from chronic pain and daily trials.

“My hope is that people who feel less useful to God due to a hardship will read this and get a glimpse of what God can do in and for and through them,” Smith said.

Among those endorsing the book is Mike Crapps, president and CEO of First Community Bank in Lexington who says Smith’s story provides each of us with evidence of God’s grace in the midst of pain.

“This grace gives us hope, sustains us and shows us how God can use us to love and to serve others despite the pain,” Crapps said.

“Oh God, I’m Dying” is available now as an e-book, with the print version ready on Nov. 24, 2020. The book is published by Morgan James Publishing and may be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. ranks Columbia International University the 2020 Best Online College in South Carolina, and CIU is #2 in the state for Best College Campus. CIU also consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Excitement is growing on campus with increased enrollment and new academic programs. Request information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024. 

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