Donald Joe Smith, or Bro. Don as most of you knew him, took his final breath on this earth, and entered into his eternal dwelling on August 21, 2021. Bro. Don died at home in Bay Minette, Alabama, surrounded by his wife and children, and the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit. Bro. Don was 85 years old when he received his final promotion.
Bro. Don was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 2, 1936. He was raised the only child of Joe and Nell Smith. After High School graduation, Bro. Don spent a few years working in secular jobs in Birmingham and serving in the Navy Reserves. In 1962 Bro. Don surrendered to the high calling of the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was ordained December 1, 1963. After completing his education, Bro. Don spent the next 47 years of his life faithfully pastoring various Southern Baptist Churches in Arkansas and Alabama.
If asked to close your eyes and picture Bro. Don, I believe most of you would envision a very similar picture of him. A picture of his sweet smile, that gentle, caring smile that radiated from deep within. At Bro. Don's retirement, the Associational Missionary that spoke shared a beautiful word picture. He said, "The first time I met Bro. Don, I walked in a hospital room and saw him standing at the bedside of one of his church members. He had his Bible in one hand, and the hand of the patient was held gently in the other, as he prayed for them. That picture sums up Bro. Don's ministry."
Those words are so true. We may not have a list of degrees or earthly accomplishments to list, but we have something much greater. We have the countless testimonies of the people he has touched over the years of his ministry. Testimonies like, "Oh, I love Bro. Don!", "Bro. Don was the best pastor I ever had!", "Bro. Don led me to Christ!". Those are accomplishments worth listing.
Bro. Don leaves behind a loving wife of 62 years, Patricia Parker Smith. Three children: Leigh Anna Smith Norris, Linda Smith Mayton and Donald Wayne Smith, along with their spouses that he accepted as his own: David Norris, Tom Mayton and Hope Spence Smith. Five grandchildren: Thomas Robert Mayton, Amanda Mayton Teal, Brittany Norris Lowe, Katie Smith Smith, and Joshua Bryant Smith. Five great grandchildren: Thomas Coleman Vice, Abigail Claire Vice, Elizabeth Brooke Vice, Jet Allen Lowe, and Spencer Price Smith.
The Celebration of life services for Donald Joe Smith will be held on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the chapel of Norris Funeral Home with Reverend Wayne Smith and Reverend Joel Carter officiating. Burial will follow at Bay Minette Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Tuesday, August 24, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. until the 2:00 p.m. service at Norris Funeral Home.
In Lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to either Gideon's International, Baldwin North Camp. P.O. Box 1384, Bay Minette, AL 36507 or The Alabama Baptist Children's Home, 2681 Rocky Ridge Lane, Birmingham, AL 35216.
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