|I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course,
I have kept the FAITH --II TIMOTHY 4:7
James was born on August 10, 1907, to the late Cliff Smith, Sr. and Georgia Davis in Port Barre, Louisiana. In 1927 he moved to the community of Waxia, Louisiana where he met and married his wife of 68 years, Leona Thomas. Their marriage was blessed with nine children, five sons and four daughters.
James was converted and baptized under the leadership of Rev. Joseph Henry Thompson. In 1932 he joined the St. Paul Methodist Church where he served as Secretary and Local Preacher.
In 1943 he was sent out to pastor in Centerville and Verdnaville circuit for one year. He also pastored Briggs and Mallalie Circuit at Lafayette for three years, St. Peter in Maringouin, Louisiana for two years, Cann River Circuit for six years, Newton Circuit for three years and Washington Circuit for three years. In 1959 he was sent to Norwood Circuit and served there for twenty-five years. He gave 43 years of his life to preaching. What a blessing!
Rev. Smith was blessed with his ministry. He was a Course of Study pastor. He studied his Bible faithfully. He read and educated himself with his readings. Rev. Smith was a gifted preacher and one who loved to preach. His gift to teach and preach the word, was a blessing to everyone under the sound of his weak voice.
Rev. Smith worked faithfully to improve his churches. His home church, St. Paul United Methodist Church of Waxia, Louisiana needed repairs, so he worked and raised the first money for the new building. Afterward he was reappointed elsewhere. During his appointment to Norwood Circuit, he built three churches, and he pastored there until he retired.
Rev. Smith departed this life on Sunday, July 28 1996 in the Opelousas General Hospital in Opelousas, Louisiana.
He leaves to cherish his sweet memories, his wife of sixty-eight years, Mrs. Leona Smith, nine children, twenty-eight grandchildren, twenty-two great grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, two brothers and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Rev. Smith was laid to rest in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Washington, Louisiana with the Rev. Clarence Hillard officiating.