November 27, 1868 - October 2, 1939
|Reverend Ellis Smith was born November 27, 1868, at Chireno, Nacogdoches County, Texas, and died following a long and painful illness in the Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, on October 2, 1939. His father, G. M. L. Smith, was one of the early educators of Texas and his mother, Mary Pitt Fowler Smith, was a daughter of Rev. Littleton Fowler, who pioneered in the planting of Methodism in the Lone Star Republic. By ancestry he had, therefore, excellent cultural and religious backgrounds, both of which were reflected in his attainments and in his choice of a career. Brother Smith was graduated from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, in the class of 1890, and on December 24, the year before his entry into the itinerant ministry, he was married to Miss Pattie Mettauer of Chireno, Texas, who died in 1911 leaving two sons and daughter. In 1922, he was married to Mrs. Louise West, of New Orleans, who with two sons, Herbert E. and Holland M. Smith, survive him.
Brother Smith was admitted on trial into the East Texas Conference in 1891 and his appointment for the first two years was New Birmingham mission. The General Minutes show that he was received into full connection at the Conference meeting at Orange in 1893, but for some reason his name does not appear in the list of those ordained deacon. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Hargrove and in 1895 he was ordained elder by Bishop Keener. His appointments in the East Texas Conference follow: New Birmingham mission two years; Garrison circuit one year; San Augustine two years; Jefferson two years; Nacogdoches two years; Crockett two years; Tabernacle, Houston, four years; Jacksonville District three years; and Centenary, Palestine, one year. At the Conference in 1912, he was transferred to the New Mexico Conference and was at Artesia two years, Roswell one year, and Alburquerque one year. At the Conference in 1916, he surrended his credentials and the following two years were spent in business at Shreveport, Louisiana.
He was admitted into the Louisiana Conference in 1918 and served one year at Amite; four years at Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans; one at Mangum Memorial church, Shreveport; two at Homer; one at Tallulah; five at Bastrop; two at Winnfield; four at Abbeville; and his last appointment was Kaplan.
This brief biographical sketch accounts for the seventy years of his earthly sojourn, but it gives no hint of the storms, which tried his soul, nor of his brave struggle against circumstances which sometimes threatened to overwhelm him. He had his faults, it is needless to say, but he had his virtues also. In the pastorate, he was a sympathetic, faithful, and conscientious minister. As a presiding elder, he displayed the genius of a real leader. Practically the last twenty years of his life were lived under the shadow of the malady to which he at last succumbed. There was a gradual increase of pain and a growing sense of hopelessness, which preyed constantly upon his nervous system. We knew him intimately for approximately twenty years. He was a faithful and a dependable friend. We saw Ellis when hope was fast deserting him, and he descended into the shadows with a countenance made radiant by the faith, which had sustained him through turbulent years of toil and struggle. He was a real man, a good man, a royal soul, and we expect to meet him beyond the River where we shall sit under the shade of the Tree of Life, with every screen of circumstance removed, and commune as friend with friend amid the neverending joys of the glad forever.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 109-110, 1939, by W. L. Duren|