Sunday, August 1, 2010

In Memoriam: Pastor Willie J. Smith (1949 - 2010)

Last month, Pastor Willie J. Smith, was laid to rest. As news of his passing was made known to Bishop College family members throughout the country, we shared with one another our personal and our collective sense of grief as we realized that one of our beloved friends, colleagues, pastors and spiritual nurturer would walk among us no more.

'Smitty', as we affectionately called him, was a giant in the pulpit, both in terms of his gift and his height. He was 6'5 or 6'7, but he was as friendly and gentle as we was tall.

As with most college friends, there are those of us who remain in better contact with one another than others. But we all hear about the work that we, who at one time were very young adults entering into the ministry and finding our paths to church leadership, achieve some measure of success and take on significant challenges. We were all proud of him, as he succeeded the legendary Dr. S.M. Lockeridge as pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego, California. Though I was among those who had not seen or talked to Smitty in a number of years, his passing reminds me of wonderful days we spent together in school; the opportunity we had to have him come to the house for dinner when he was here and the immense pride I had in being able to introduce him and his wonderful gift for preaching with my fellow pastors here in Dallas.

I join countless Bishop College family members, clergy and friends in prayer for his family and the Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego as God guides them through this period of grief.
I thought, it would be nice today to share Willie once again with a larger group of listener's and encourage all of us who serve God in anyway to 'use what we have, until Christ fixes' what is broken in our lives!

Bless you Smitty!



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