committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs




Louisiana Negro




        In the Parish of Caldwell, 1850, Bishop Lorenzo Smith was born of Mr. Nathaniel and Mrs. Amy Smith. Although bound by the ropes of slavery, these parents were hopeful of their son, and perhaps prayed secretly that some day the shackles would be broken off and that their boy would make the mark he has made.

        When Brother Smith reached school age there were no schools for him to attend, and unlike the Negro boy who came after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he had to start upward without a single ray of light or an iota of encouragement. He scuffled along as best he could, studying perhaps at night by light from the torch and the pine knot until he learned his letters. After the war he entered the public school and there got a little more preparation for life.

        He was converted in 1874 and baptized into the membership of Raven Camp Baptist Church by Elder Levy Sawyer. He was ordained in 1881 by the following bishops: Thomas E. Harris, Thomas Epps, Thomas Clark, H. K. Barrett, A. M. Newman, D. D., Ed Daniels and Joe Washington. Brother Smith is one of the most active Louisiana pioneer preachers, having pastored the following churches: St. Paul Baptist Church, St. Peter Baptist Church, served as Vice President State Sunday-School Convention two years; Corresponding Secretary of the Eighth District Association three years; Treasurer Eighth District Association No. 2 thirteen years; and now (1913) President Eighth District Sunday-School Association and Moderator of Second Eighth District Association.

        He has done well in the matter of educating his children. All of them are won to Christ save one; all have been sent to school, one having graduated from the B. A. degree course at Leland University, where he now (1912) holds a professorship. Bishop Smith has given more than half his days to his Master's cause, having baptized more than 850 souls and married more than 355 couples.


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