Of our many young Baptist laymen, none have climbed higher in teaching, farming and United States Postal Clerk circles than Mr. J. M. Smith, Sr. He was born October 28, 1872, at Furrh, La. His parents, Mr. William and Mrs. Ida Smith, being financially weak when he reached school age, failed to carry him all the way through but did what they could under the circumstances.
Being blessed with sufficient iron in his blood and hustle in his bones, the subject of our sketch started upward like a rising star. After attending the rural public school, the Providence Academy, Shreveport, La., under the late lamented and scholarly Dr. A. M. Newman, and Bishop College a short while, he passed first grade Texas examinations and won his place among college graduate teachers in the big state of Texas and often outclassed them.
After teaching seven years in Harrison County, he passed a Civil Service examination and entered the Railway Mail Service June 2, 1903, which position he held and honorably filled to the delight and satisfaction of the United States Government until 1912, when he of his own accord resigned much to the regret of "Uncle Sam." One of his reasons for leaving this lucrative position was to go back to the farm where he could more successfully save and rear his children. Brother Smith wisely put the value of his children above a big salary and the privilege of living in Mississippi's metropolis. He reached the highest round in the ladder of service on the mail car, i. e., Clerk in Charge.
His career thus far has been one of unbroken success. His motto―"A Consistent Christian, a Loyal Baptist, One and Inseparable Now and Forever"―is the secret of his success. He was converted August, 1891, and baptized into the membership of Republican Baptist Church by Bishop L. W. Canfield. He married Miss Crenzia Patsy Hicks, March 13, 1898. Eight children bless their union. Brother Smith's marked success has helped him to get closer to, not further from, the Lord. While doing well financially in the mail service, during his stay in Meridian, Miss., he always found time to work in El Bethel Baptist Sunday-School and superintend a division of the Negro Boy's Improvement Association, a constructive movement for the good of the boys.
He is comparatively young and has a great future before him. His achievements say he will still succeed.
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