Wanda Smith of Chickamauga, 95, went home to be with the Lord, Monday, August 20, 2018. She was born on Sept. 7, 1922, to Joseph Dwight and Ethel Mae Nixon. She grew up on a cotton farm in the Rocky Ford Community near Littlefield, Tx, along with one brother and five sisters.
Her parents and six siblings preceded her in death.
As a young girl, her desire was drawn to ministry, writing her first song at 13 years of age. God-given gifts made way for opportunity to travel extensively in Texas and Oklahoma; singing, playing piano and the accordion for revival meetings. Along the way, she met and fell in love with a young preacher by the name of Edwin Smith. The two were joined in holy matrimony in 1943. Together, they were a powerful ministry team. While in Texas at Southwestern Bible Institute, they took their first pastoral assignment at a country church called Pearce’s Chapel; from there they went to Jacksonville, Tx., to Pierre, SD, back to Jacksonville, to Gallatin, Tn. and finally to Gospel Tabernacle in Chickamauga, where they served until Oct. 31, 1982. They accepted invitations to fill in as interim pastor from other congregations, and they made their home here in Chickamauga. Pastor Edwin Smith went to be with the Lord on Dec. 29, 2006.
During 80 plus years of ministry, countless songs, poems, skits and plays were birthed by this remarkable servant of the Lord. “Harvest Time,” her most recognized song, is iconic, given the fact that is known worldwide. Truly, this song best depicts the heart of Wanda Smith. Her innate urgency to win souls for Jesus Christ never diminished throughout her long life, and her passion for the mission fields clearly resounds in its lyrics.
Many are the ways that “Sister Smith,” as she was fondly called, exemplified His love and grace. It was not uncommon to find her having a quiet prayer with a total stranger in a store or comforting a disheartened individual who she had met during the course of her day. The telephone was a ready tool, and she was always willing to listen with compassion and understanding.
Aunt Wanda leaves behind these nieces and nephews: Retha Pendleton, Rhoda Baker, Deonna Clarkson, Allison Smith, Cleon Dewey, Gerald Nixon, Ronald Dutton, Travis Walker, Delmar Walker and Clois Cotton. She is survived by her only son, Eddy Smith.
Today we celebrate hope and a glorious life that will never end, “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him,” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Today we celebrate the life of Wanda Smith; woman of dignity and character, loving wife, devoted mother, beloved aunt and ultimately a favored daughter of Christ.
Funeral services will be on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. at Cross Connection Church in Chickamauga, with Rev. Joey Kelley officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Assemblies of God Foreign Missions.
Interment will be at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 2-8 p.m. on Friday at Heritage Funeral Home, Battlefield Parkway.
Visit www.heritagebattlefield.com to view the memorial tribute or service information.