Samuel Roger Smith, Sr

Samuel Roger Smith, Sr

Hummelstown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 12 Sep 1916 (aged 62)
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Annville, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 17010870 · View Source
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During the close of the 19th century there appeared on the scene of the religious and legislative policies of the Brethern in Christ Church a man, who during the first decade of the 20th century, played an important part in the founding of Messiah College, named in that day The Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home.

This man, Samuel R. Smith, known by his comtemporaries as S. R. Smith, was the father of eleven children. In his early college life he had wayward tendencies, and having imbibed infidelic teachings, often met with the debating team who argued against the Bible, upholding the teachings of men such as Tom Paine and Bob Ingersol. Thus, in later life his passion was to restore faith in God in the youth whose lives he touched.

A financial reverse in the early part of his marriage caused him to become grey, yes, white in a few nights. However, the circumstances of the times brought him to the realization that an Unseen Power controlled this universe and that the teachings of the Bible are true.

S.R. Smith was gloriously converted. He had been reared in the United Zion Church, and upon his conversion became a member of that church group to which his wife Elizabeth belonged. Since there was no United Zion church in Harrisburg, where he lived, he and his family worshiped with the Brethern in Christ and eventually he and his wife joined. S.R. Smith soon became active in the work of this denomination. He became General Conference Secretary in 1899.

During the first decade of the 20th century many in the Brethern in Christ Church were eager to found a school on the secondary level for their youth. Among those who were interested intensely were Bishop J. R. Zook of Des Moines, Iowa, and Rev S. R. Smith of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both were influential men in the general work of the church. Bishop Zook desired to establish a school in Iowa; Rev. Smith desired to see the school placed in Pennsylvania.

At the General Conference of 1907 a committee was appointed to make plans for the launching of the school. This committee met in Buffalo, New York, June 18-20, 1907. Included in the committee's report was the recommendation that the school shall be located "at or near the vicinty of Harrisburg." The project was not to be launched until a $10,000 Founder's Fund was contributed or subscribed.

The response to solicitation was slow, and in May, 1910 the General Conference apporved a resolution that set July 16, 1910 as a final date line. If the required $10,000 was not supplied for the opening of the school at harrisburg, then the school was to be located in the community offering the most feasible proposition of support. S. R. Smith worked ardently and personally gave generously to reach the required goal in the required time.

  • Created by: Bruce Speck
  • Added: 13 Dec 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17010870
  • matt straub
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel Roger Smith, Sr (16 Sep 1853–12 Sep 1916), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17010870, citing Annville United Zion Cemetery, Annville, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Bruce Speck (contributor 46873080) .