Rev. William James Smith, son of the late Thomas Vaughn and Arlena Smith, was born June 18, 1928 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was educated in the Mecklenburg County School System and graduated from High School there. Shortly after graduating he met and married the former Annie Lou Mendenhall and moved to New York City where they had six children. Annie Lou Smith passed away on February 8, 1992.
Reverend William James Smith attended Sheraton College in Manhattan and received a Bachelors in Divinity degree from Faith College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He became active in ministry and joined the New York Annual Conference in 1969. Rev. Smith pastored at Shaw Temple A.M.E. Zion in Amityville, N.Y. (19 years), Bell A.M.E. Zion in Center Moriches, N.Y. (13 years) and Clinton Memorial A.M.E. Zion in Greenport, N.Y. (3 years) for a total of 35 years of faithful and godly service.
Rev. Smith served in many capacities in the old Brooklyn and Long Island Districts of the New York Annual A.M.E. Zion Conference. He traveled abroad to Seoul, Korea with the World Conference of Churches and to Ireland for the Rotary District Conference. Rev. Smith served as Commissioner of Black History for the town of Brookhaven, was a former President of the Moriches Rotary, served on the Greenport Rotary, C.A.S.T. Organization of Greenport and the Boys and Girls Club of America in Bellport, N.Y. He was a member of the Black Clergy Organization of Bellport, N.Y., a life member of the N.A.A.C.P. and a member of the Board of Head Start where he served as Policy Council President for three years. Along with his busy ministry, he worked for 30 years at Trans World Airlines (TWA).
On April 13, 2002 Rev. Smith married the former Rachel Elizabeth Hargrove and in July of 2005 moved to Charlotte, North Carolina where he served as Associate Minister at Mowing Glade A.M.E. Zion Church. One of the many things he is recognized for is creating a Senior Citizen Group that continues to meet every Tuesday morning.
Rev. Smith is preceded in death by his sisters: Julia Reid and Jean Smith; his brother; Westcoe Gillepie and his grandson, Antoine Logan.
Rev. William James Smith is survived by his second wife, Rachel; his sons Charles Truesdale, Michael Smith, and Steven Smith; his daughters, Cynthia Hunter, Deborah King, and Denise Smith; stepdaughters, Benetta, Rachel, Selena and Angela; eighteen grandchildren; twenty great grandchildren;1 daughter in law; 3 sister in laws; 2 brother in laws; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
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