Obituaries » Rev. Dr. Henry Dee Smith, Jr.
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September 13, 1927 - March 28, 2016
Rev. Dr. Henry Dee Smith, Jr., 88, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 28, 2016 in Fairhope, AL surrounded by his beloved family. His life was devoted to serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On September 13, 1927, H. D. was born to the late Henry Dee Smith, Sr. and LouElla Arant Smith in a farmhouse on the banks of the Quiver River in Leflore County, MS. Having enlisted in the Army in 1944 during WWII he was stationed in Guam till late 1945. After returning home from the war, H. D. met and later married his life-long sweetheart and cherished wife, Ella Ruth Gore on January 15, 1948. They enjoyed 64 years of life together and were truly devoted to each other before her death in 2011. They had 5 children and 18 grandchildren with whom they shared a rich loving home life filled with laughter and fun. H.D. cherished his family gatherings and spending time together which included plenty of dinners, western movies and football games around the fireplace. H. D. also loved traveling, reading, photography and was a master at carpentry.
Prior to enlisting in the army, H. D. attended The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) at the age of sixteen with scholastic honors and remained a True Rebel Fan. He surrendered to the ministry in 1953 and was ordained by his home Church in Schlater, MS. and later enrolled in Mississippi College where he graduated with special distinction. H. D. obtained his Bachelor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. During his life ministry, his pastorates included the Doddsville and Blaine Churches (Mississippi), Florida Avenue Mission (Louisiana), Trinity Baptist Church (Louisiana), Forest Baptist Church (Mississippi), Barksdale Baptist Church (Louisiana), Gentilly Baptist Church (Louisiana), Lakeshore Baptist Church (Louisiana), First Baptist Satsuma (Alabama), Western Hills Baptist Church (Louisiana), Grace Baptist Mission (Louisiana), and Ellison Ridge Baptist Church (Mississippi).
H. D. loved His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He loved preaching the gospel and had a great passion for evangelism and personal soul-winning. Together, he and Ruth went on 26 mission trips in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention. These mission trips took him to Korea, India, Jamaica, Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines with notable evangelistic crusades in which he preached. Through the years, he has led countless souls to a personal relationship with their Savior, Jesus Christ.
Those who were members in his churches will testify to his gifts for pastoring and how he brought a fresh mission awareness to their fellowship. He loved the people God placed in his care as their Shepherd. In his final days he distinctly said, “Tell everyone I love them and all I have to leave them is the love of Jesus. I hope they will spread his love!”
He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry Dee Smith, Sr. and LouElla Arant Smith; a sister, Catherine Smith Bush; his eldest grandson, John Edward Hart; and his wife, Ella Ruth Gore Smith.
Survived by: a sister, Eloise Smith Brock; 2 sons, Rev. Timothy Smith and wife, Stephanie; Rev. Joseph Smith and wife, Carla; 3 daughters, Rebecca Smith, Rachel Grant Ferguson and husband, Bob; Deeana Clark and husband, Phillip; 18 grandchildren: Josh Smith, Matt Smith, Serena White, Virginia Schroeder, Scarlett Vogel Hamm, Julie Allen, Daniel Smith, Scott Smith, Ruth Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Chris Walker, Rylee Walker, Jacob Walker, Jeffrey Linn, Michael Clark, Bobby Ferguson and Corey Ferguson; and 18 great-grandchildren.
The funeral for Rev. Dr. H. D. Smith, Jr. will be at Rose-Neath’s Southside Funeral Home at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 4, 2016 with visitation Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Rev. Alan Brown and Rev. Eddie DeHondt will officiate in the service. The family requests that gifts in memory of Rev. Dr. H. D. Smith, Jr. be made to the Christian Evangelistic Association (710 S. Mobile St. #18, Fairhope, AL 36532) to continue the world wide mission support he began in his lifetime.
“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3