Pastors' Memoirs

Aaron Doyle Smith, 1921-1988

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Aaron Doyle Smith, the son of the Rev. Ernest Cabell Smith and Florence Doyle Smith, was born November 10, 1921, at East Bank, West Virginia. He died April 2, 1988, at Riverside Hospital, Newport News, Virginia.

Aaron graduated from Rocky Mount High School, Rocky Mount, Virginia, in 1938. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Lynchburg College in 1942, and the Bachelor of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky in 1945.

On December 30, 1960, he married Carolyn Oleta Dorn, who survives him. To this marriage were born Claire Etta, Jonathan O'Dell and Miriam Oleta.

During his 43 ministerial years, Aaron served the following appointments: Matoaca in the Petersburg District; Mechanicsville in the Richmond District; Villa Heights in the Roanoke District; Appomattox Circuit in the Lynchburg District; Onley in the Eastern Shore District; Nelson in the Charlottesville District; Monroe in the Charlottesville District; First Church in the Norfolk District; Memorial Church, Virginia Beach, in the Norfolk District; Tabernacle, Poquoson in the Peninsula District.

Aaron received the call to preach very early in life and, even before he finished high school, he knew that he would enter the Christian ministry. He was greatly loved by all the congregations he served. He was an excellent student of the Bible and was always diligent in his sermon preparation. He made a total commitment to Christ and the church. He was a great preacher, a devoted pastor, and always supported every program of the church.

Aaron was my elder brother and meant much to my life. I received my call to the ministry under his ministry at Villa Heights Church in Roanoke, Virginia. His support and encouragement during the early years of my ministry sustained me in many difficult times. I am greatly indebted to him.

A funeral service was conducted at Tabernacle United Methodist Church, Poquoson, Virginia, April 5, 1988, by the Rev. R. Beverly Watkins, Dr. Rawle S. Porte, the Rev. Frank E. Washburn, and the writer. Interment was at Newport News, Virginia.

"On journeys high his spirit fares, Of realms of sunless light is free;

The triumph of the saints he shares, He stands beside the Crystal Sea."

 -Howard Smith



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