On Friday, July 31, 2020, William H. Smith died peacefully in Oxford, Mississippi, at age 72.
Bill, as he was known to family and friends, was born in 1947 in Pensacola, Florida to Frances and O.H. Smith. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of West Florida (1969) and his Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary (1972).
Bill served as a minister to congregations in Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Virginia over the course of a ministerial career that spanned five decades, which included a seven year stretch as one of the first campus ministers with Reformed University Fellowship (later Reformed University Ministries) at the University of Southern Mississippi. Through his preaching and teaching, he introduced many to the profound and powerful truths of the gospel, to a robust and biblical theology of God, man, and salvation, and the historic faith passed down from the Apostles.
In 1969, Bill married the former Susan Drexler, also of Pensacola, Florida, and together they reared five sons. Bill was a man of words. He loved to read them, write them, email them, and shape and understand the world through them. He loved the Florida Gators, his mother’s three-layer chocolate cake, and towards the end of his life, the Book of Common Prayer. He made a surprisingly tasty ham and bean soup, the best Thanksgiving turkey, fruitcakes that no one ever wanted, and your choice of pancakes or waffles most Saturday mornings.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and is survived by his sons Calvin (Teri), Jeremy (Neil), Daniel (Melissa), Philip (Sara) and Joel (Rachel), his brother Rhett (Teresa), sister Elise (Jeff), and 18 grandchildren.
His course was rarely easy, his steps not without their stumbles, but followed and prodded and pushed and sometimes dragged by the goodness and mercy of God, he has now found eternal rest.
Bill will be laid to rest this week at Bayview Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida at a private family service.
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