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Rev. Ben's Story

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Benjamin Clinton Smith of Greenville passed away Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
He was born in Sabine County, Texas, on Aug. 30, 1926, the son of Benjamin E. and Ima Arthur Smith. Ben married Laura Jean Gill on June 3, 1950, in Houston, Texas. Ben proudly served his country during World War II and the Korean Conflict. He was a Baptist minister for 50-plus years and served as pastor at Geneva Baptist Church, Geneva, Texas; North Baptist Church (now The Church at River Oaks), Greenville; Oak Crest Baptist Church , Dallas; First Baptist Church, Campbell and Faith Baptist Church, Quinlan. He also served as interim pastor for several churches after he retired from full-time ministry. He and Laura enjoyed traveling, especially in their RV to Mountain View, Ark. Ben was a member of Highland Terrace Baptist Church.
Ben graduated from Hemphill High School, East Texas Baptist College (now University), and was in the first graduation class from Criswell Bible Institute of Dallas. His student pastorates were First Baptist Church of Monkstown, Texas; Aimwell Baptist Church, Zwolle, La.; as well as Riverside Chapel, a mission of First Baptist Church, Shreveport.
Ben was also privileged to participate in mission work in El Indio, Texas; Louisiana mission ministry; New Mexico; California, and both Cuiaba and Rondonopolis, Brazil.
Ben became pastor of the Shady Grove Campground in Mountain View, Ark., whenever he and Laura were in attendance, from 2000 to 2011. Soon after, health issues caused Ben to be placed in The Legend Health Care in Greenville.
Ben is survived by his wife, Laura, of almost 67 years and their four children, Clinta Price and husband Tim, Dwain Smith and wife Denise, Jo Roddy and husband Jim, and Lewis Smith and wife Patty. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Ben Price and wife Carrie, Jeff Price and wife Maria, Jenny Elmi and husband Chris, Leslie Taylor and husband Jeremy, Stacy McCarthy and husband Russell, Thomas, Katharine and Elizabeth Smith, and Rachel and Rebecca Smith; seven great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Robert Rainoshek; nephews Richard Rainoshek and Kenneth Rainoshek; and niece Pam Compton, husband, Barry and daughter, Laurie.
He was predeceased by his parents, half-brother Ramsey Smith and nephew Glen Smith.
The family would like to thank the staff of The Legend for their care for Ben over the past few years.
Funeral service will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, May 6, in the Coker Mathews Funeral Home chapel with Rev. Royce Litchfield and Rev. Bob Layman officiating. Interment will follow the service at Memoryland Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m.. until service time.
Published on May 4, 2017
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