Stephen Edward Smith was born in the west Texas town of Monahans on August 25, 1953. His dad worked in the oil fields and the family lived in New Mexico and Texas, settling finally in Midland where Steve graduated high school at the age of seventeen. He went with his best friend to the east Texas Youth Camp that summer and got saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. Less than a year later he accepted his call to preach. When he went to his State Overseer for counsel on how to begin his ministry he was urged to go to BTI first of all. So off he went to California for his First Term of BTI. It was there he met his wife-to-be, Vicki LeAnnette Wilda. They were married three days after Christmas in December 1973.
Steve served as State CPMA secretary in Idaho and began pastoring in Lewiston, Idaho, at the age of twenty-one. They pastored there for two years. It was during this time their first child, Jonathan Ray was born. Then they were moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where they pastored for one year, during which time their second child, Rebekah LeAnnette, was born. Becki was just seven days old when they headed out in an old Champion motorhome to serve as National/Regional Evangelists. God supplied every need during the two years they spent evangelizing in small churches throughout the west and midwest. They were required to be in twenty-one nights of revival every month and had to spend at least eight months of the year in their assigned region; the first year they were assigned North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. The second year they were assigned West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.
After two years of living in a twenty-eight foot motorhome with two small children they moved to New Mexico to pastor the Church of God of Prophecy in Albuquerque. Although there was substantial growth spiritually and numerically, they felt led to move to Colorado after only one year. They began their twenty-four years of ministry in Colorado by pastoring four years at Pueblo. During those four years there were twenty-seven new members added to the Church, and God was blessing tremendously. Then, the State Overseer sent them to pastor in Colorado Springs. Although they had loved the city of Colorado Springs they had often remarked to one another they had no desire to ever pastor there. God changed their hearts and there were eleven blessed years of ministry there. They successfully navigated through the turbulent years of the separation from the Church of God of Prophecy while serving in Colorado Springs.
When the “Concerned for Bible Doctrine” was formed Brother Smith was asked to publish a monthly newsletter and the name The Evening Light was chosen. It was due to his involvement with The Evening Light that he was swiftly removed as pastor of the Colorado Springs church. The congregation stood behind the Smiths, and their stand against the change of doctrine that had occurred at the 1991 Assembly. Brother Smith ended up serving as Assistant Editor of The Evening Light for twelve years – from November of 1992 through 2004.
Following the Solemn Assembly, at the November 1993 General Assembly Brother Smith was appointed Regional Overseer to six states – Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, California and Utah. After a couple of years a new pastor was brought in to Colorado Springs and the Smiths moved to Howard, Colorado, to pastor the Salida church. The Region was reformed and the states of California, Arizona and Nevada were removed, and New Mexico was added. They lived in Howard for nine years. After a few years of pastoring Salida and working as Regional Overseer, Brother Smith felt led to step out and serve as full time Overseer.
In 2004 the Smiths were appointed to six new states – the six states of only perhaps eight in the contiguous United States they had never been to: Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts. They immediately fell in love with the people of that region, and God directed them to the perfect house to remodel and live in. It didn’t last long, however. Just a year and a half later Brother Smith was chosen at the Overseer’s Meeting of 2006, following Brother Pruitt’s resignation, to serve as Interim General Overseer. Following his selection as General Overseer at the General Assembly of that same year, the Smiths sold their Virginia home and moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, where they have lived ever since.
They are blessed with ten grandchildren. Jonathan and Emilee Smith have five boys – Nathan, Caleb, Luke Ezekiel, Linus and two girls – Abbie and Lydia. James and Rebekah Horne have three children – Katie, Josiah, and Sam. As Proverbs 17:6 declares, “Children’s children are the crown of old men.”
Funeral Arrangements & Information
Funeral services and arrangements are as follows. Visitation is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2015 between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM EDT. Funeral services are set to begin at 2:00 PM EDT and will be held at The Church of God, Zion Hill at 193 Tillie Road NE, Cleveland, TN 37312. Graveside service will follow.
Anyone desiring to send flowers should have them delivered to General Headquarters (197 Tillie Road NE, Cleveland, TN 37312). Funds sent to General Headquarters for the Smith Family should be so designated. Contributions can be mailed The Church of God, c/o Smith Family, P.O. Box 450, Charleston, TN 37310.