Rev. Arthur Smith, 70, of Louisville, died Monday, February 25, 2013 at Jewish Hospital. He was the pastor of Portland Memorial Missionary Baptist Church for forty-six years, the old city of Louisville tenth ward Alderman from 1981 to 1989, the former president of the NAACP Youth Council and a former member of the NAACP Executive Committee.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara Smith; two sons, Rev. Stephen D. (Odessa) and Leon A. Smith (Margaret); three brothers, Donald E. (Toni), Victor L. (Mae) and Rev. Gregory F. Smith (Tonya); two daughters, by marriage Reginale D. and Rhonda Rattler; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
His funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Portland Memorial Missionary Baptist Church 3800 W. Market St., with burial in Green Meadows Cemetery. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the church. Arrangements are by W. P. Porter Mortuary and G. C. Williams Funeral Home.
Bio from Church Website:
Rev. Smith was born to the late James Arthur and Katherine E. Smith in Louisville, KY and was the eldest of six sons. He is a product of the Old Louisville Public School System and then attended Georgetown College and Simmons Bible College. He went on to do further ministerial studies in various denominational seminars and serves in the General Association of Kentucky Baptists and Central District Baptist Associations respectively. Rev. Smith received in October 2006 a proclamation from the Superintendent of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, deeming him as a Hero of the Baptist Faith!
In October 1966, he accepted the pastorate of Portland Baptist Church, now known as the Portland Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, Since that time he has served as pastor, leader, counselor, advisor and a dedicated servant for 43 years. He currently gives spiritual direction to 17 associate ministers, 32 deacons, 15 trustees, and 40 ministries.
He is the former Commissioner for the Housing Authority of Louisville; former Youth Director of Region 3 of the NAACP; He lead the drive to lower the voting age to 18; former Vice President of the Louisville Branch NAACP; former Youth President of the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP’ served 10 years on the Louisville Board of Alderman as Elected Official and chaired the Housing and Safety Commission; established the Tenth Ward Advisory Counsel; Co-founder of the West Louisville Community Ministries; served as Interim Pastor for two years at First Baptist Church of Georgetown, KY; served as Social Service Director of the Old Louisville Police Court under Judge Benjamin Shobe and former Judge Neville Tucker; taught several years in the Progressive National Baptist Convention in the Sunday School Department; taught several Kentucky and Indiana Kentucky religious institutes; recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award at Lampton Baptist Church and Shawnee High School, the recipient of multiple Kentucky Colonel Awards and the prestigious Delahanty-Shobe-Tucker Civil Rights Award and this summer received the Molly Leonard Award from Council Woman Cheryl Bryant Hamilton and the City of Louisville. He has been affiliated with many organizations and remains a faithful worker in the community despite challenging health battles and has been chosen for the “Who’s Who in Black Kentuckians in 2008!
Under his leadership, Portland has grown physically and spiritually in the formation of many outreach ministries including: PortShaw Community CDC, which houses the area “Dare to Care” food distribution site/Senior Activities/ AA meetings and community evangelism; and the most recent acquisition is that of the West Market Street Community Laundry that helps individuals and provides employment in our community.
He is dedicated to moving Portland Memorial from mere Membership to Discipleship.