The W. Graham Smith Memorial Sermon Library


A Tribute to Pastor Emeritus Dr. W. Graham Smith


The death of Faith’s founding Pastor and our Pastor Emeritus Dr. W. Graham Smith on Sunday morning, March 12 2000, came as a great shock to the Smith family and to the family of Faith. He was truly a great man of God whose ministry had an enormous impact on the lives of hundreds, even thousands, of people down through the years. More than any other human being, Dr. Smith is the reason Faith Church is here today, and that it is as healthy and strong and biblically sound as it is.

The son of the Reverend William and Sarah Graham Smith, Dr. Smith was born in Toronto, Canada on September 15, 1920. He received his B.A. from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1940) and the Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological College in Belfast (1943). He served on the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and later received the Master of Theology degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (1969) and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond (1977). In 1985, he was awarded the Doctor of Divinity Degree from King College in Bristol, Tennessee.

Dr. Smith was ordained to the Gospel Ministry and installed as Pastor of Ravenhill Presbyterian Church in Belfast on September 5, 1944. He served there until 1951. He subsequently served pastorates in Dundas, Ontario, Canada (1951-1957); Clinton, New York (1957-1962); and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1962-1970) before being called to serve as Senior Pastor of Fairlington Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. Dr. Smith served the Fairlington Church from 1970 until his retirement in 1987, only to be called to serve as the founding Pastor of the newly formed Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church. In October 1996, he retired a second time and was named Pastor Emeritus by the Faith Church family.

In 1993, he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, the highest elected office in the denomination. He also served with distinction on the Theology Committee and the Fraternal Relations Committee of the General Assembly.

In his last sermon at Faith, on January 2, 2000, Dr. Smith preached on the theme, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” echoing the words of the Apostle Paul: “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).

Dr. Smith and his wife of 55 years, Madge, were blessed with five children ... and fourteen grandchildren, six of whom ... are part of the Faith Church Family.

To many of us, Dr. Smith was larger than life. He was a man who lived well, who walked by faith, and lived it out until he died. Let us praise God for the blessing of his life and ministry, and let us press on to serve the Lord he loved and proclaimed.

--Pastor Neil Smith

Senior Pastor,

Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Alexandria, Virginia

April, 2000


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