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Rev. Donald Ray Smith
May 17, 1960 ~ October 12, 2023 (age 63) 63 Years Old
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Reverend Donald R. Smith, Sr. was born on May 17, 1960 to the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Maggie Webster, Sr., in a small Parrish called Sicily Island, Louisiana. As the oldest of seven children, Reverend Smith was considered one of the patriarchs of the family and realized early in his life the mission that he was charged with by God. As a member of Mount Rose Baptist Church in Sicily Island, Louisiana, Reverend Smith accepted Christ at an early age. Reverend Smith was called to the ministry in 1979 and was ordained as a minister while attending Avenue Baptist Church, in Monroe, Louisiana. He also served as a youth minister at several churches in Louisiana. Reverend Smith attended college at Northeastern Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana. It was there where he met the love of his life, Mrs. Benita C. Smith and was united in holy matrimony for the past 40 years. Through this union, they raised four children: Dr. Lillian L. Smith-Flakes, Minister Donald R. Smith, II, Dr. India Q.S Smith, and Minister Micah A.D. Smith. He was a devoted father who loved, cherished, and nurtured his children. He loved as Christ commanded and enjoyed his family whom he was most proud of. In his spare time, he enjoyed spending time with his family, cooking, fishing, and studying the word of God. Upon relocating to Dade City, Florida, he and his family attended St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church until he was called to pastor First Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Later, he was called to a new assignment to Greater Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Lacoochee, Florida, where he served as Pastor for 26 years. Reverend Smith was a member of several civic organizations in the Lacoochee Community. He was an executive member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and African-American Heritage Society of East Pasco. Reverend Smith also served as the President of the Bethel Baptist Association Congress of Christian Education for 10 years, Vice-President for 8 years, Bible expository for 4 years, and a vast of other positions which demonstrated his dedication and commitment to spreading the Gospel for over 40 years. Reverend Donald R. Smith, Sr. departed this earthly life and entered eternal rest on Thursday, October 12, 2023 surrounded by his loving wife, children, and family. He was a person of strong convictions, not easily swayed from his beliefs regardless of the opinion of others. His commitment to serving others extended to every facet of his life; spiritually, civically, and socially. He sowed a seed in every life that he touched, and always allowed his light to shine in God's vineyard. Reverend Smith leaves to cherish his legacy and memories: his loving wife, Minister Benita C. Smith of Belleview, Florida; his children, Dr. Lillian L. Smith-Flakes (Marlon), Minister Donald R. Smith, II (Ukamaka), Dr. India Q. S. Smith, and Minister Micah A. D. Smith; his siblings, Shelly Smith, the late Maggie S. Jack (Jack), Robert Webster (Lisa), Elijah Webster, Roney Webster (Scharlotte), and John Webster; two sisters-in-law, Elaine Warren and Stephanie Mitchell (Lavazo); grandchildren, Na'Lia Cordy-Smith, Gabrielle Mosley, and Ezekiel Smith ; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, god children, and sorrowing friends; he leaves a legacy of life, love, inspiration, and compassion to many and will always be remembered.