Rev. Dr. Manuell Smith, III earthly journey began on July 6th, 1949 to the parentage of Hudson L. Smith, Sr. and Fannie Mae Seltzer Smith in Eutaw, Alabama. At an early age Dr. Smith accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and united with Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Smith was educated in the Jefferson County School System and graduated from C. W. Hayes High School, Birmingham, Alabama. After receiving his general education, Dr. Smith furthered his education at Wenonah State Technical College, Birmingham, Alabama, Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham Easonian Baptist Bible College, Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham Theological Seminary, Birmingham, Alabama, Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia and Global Evangelical Christian College and Seminary. Dr. Smith received his Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Divinity in 1992 and received an honorary Doctorate of Ministry Degree in 2004.
On February 27, 1968, Dr. Smith joined the United States Marines Corps where he received, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/1, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Rifle, Good Conduct Medal, and Marksmanship Badge. He was ranked as a Lance Corporal. On October 27, 1969, Dr. Smith received his Honorable Discharge.
Along Dr. Smith’s life’s journey, he met the love of his life, Ms. Shirley Collins. Later they proved to be inseparable and united in Holy Matrimony on August 1, 1971, to this union three children were born. Dr. Smith and Shirley declared that their children were God’s greatest gifts to them. His children referred to their Daddy as their SUPERMAN because of his superlative strength and example of love. His son asked him, “What do you want your legacy to be when you are gone?” and Dr. Smith’s response was, “That I loved people!”
Dr. Smith would affectionately articulate the day of his baptism, when his Pastor the late Rev. E. D. Harris submerged him twice because he saw the call of God on his life. That call eventually manifested as Dr. Smith preached his first public sermon, May 27, 1979 at the Beulah Baptist Church.
As a servant after God’s own heart, Dr. Smith accepted the charge to serve as Pastor of Corinth Baptist Church, Trussville, AL for six and a half years. Upon the completion of that pastoral charge, the Lord assigned Dr. Smith to serve as the Senior Pastor of the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL, where he walked with them as Pastor and People for 35 years.
Dr. Smith has experienced many opportunities in life as Vice President and President of Sylacauga Ministerial Association, founder and former president of the Christian Bowling League at Birmingham Baptist Bible College, Assistant Chaplain of Birmingham City Jail, Board member of Rushing Springs District Association, Trustee of Alabama Baptist State Convention, Parliamentarian of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.
Counselor of B.B. Comer High School for staff and students who where facing emergency situations, suicidal prone, and or accident victims, Member of Sylacauga School Year of 2000 (Race Relations Subcommittee of Sylacauga City Board of Education), Sylacauga Board of Directors of the Sylacauga Branch of Salvation Army, Member/ Board of Directors of Teen Challenge of Alabama, Founder and Director of Manuell Smith, III Youth Outreach Ministry, Established as an annual event, Martin Luther King, Jr., Youth Retreat, Developed a “Save our Children” Program, and Organized “Fun Day in the Hood''.
In 2008, Dr. Smith’s unalterable commitment to serve led him to take a leap of faith as he was elected to serve as City Councilman for district #3 for the city of Sylacauga.
Dr. Smith was a very good, kind hearted, and loving person who loved the Lord, his family, his church family and friends. His love for people never allowed him to meet a stranger. He loved giving advice, especially to the younger generation. He believed and felt that the advice he gave would help them along the way.
In the sovereign will of God, Dr. Smith completed his earthly journey and entered into his eternal rest surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home on February 17th, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hudson L. Smith, Sr. and Fannie Mae Seltzer Smith, daughter, Pamela Yvette Smith, and brother, Charles Smith.
His legacy of love will forever be cherished by his wife of 50 years, Shirley C. Smith of Sylacauga, AL; five beautiful children, Tracey Smith of Sylacauga, AL, Pastor Manuell (LeNeka) Smith, IV of Oxford, AL, Frederick Smith, Sr. Cleveland, OH, Tatiyana Smith, and Kilii Smith both of Sylacauga, AL; seven grandchildren, Manuell Smith, V, Tamela Riggins, Zachariah Riggins, Aerin Josiah Smith, Karsen Smith Ezmirelda Smith, and Frederick Smith, Jr.; loving siblings, Hudson (Carolyn) Smith, Shirley S. (Howard) Perkins, Arthur L. (Michelle) Smith, Martha S. Barber, Laura S. Harris, Clara S. (Howard) Russell, and James (Angela) Smith; sister in laws, Velma Avery, Teresa (James) West, Alberta Lewis, and Brenda Smith; one brother in law, Herman (Wanda) Collins; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, family and friends, and the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church.
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