Mother Edna Retha Smith was born in Arthur City, Texas. She grew up in Paris, Texas, where she gave her life to Christ at a very early age. She always spoke fondly of her baptism in the Red River where she was filled with the Holy Ghost. Edna attended public schools in Paris, excelled in math and reading, while also working on the farm and picking cotton. As she became older, she worked as a seamstress for the soldiers at Camp Maxey; a U.S. Army infantry-training camp during World War II. Her ten mile walk to the camp was always a topic of conversation. After working there for several years, when Edna became a young woman, she moved to Fort Worth, TX; where she met her husband, Allen Arthur.
Serving the Lord, being a wife, and raising her children in a Christian home gave her joy. She was elated that God blessed her with ten children. Edna was raised in the Church of God in Christ faith (COGIC). As a member of Green Pastures COGIC, she served in many roles (secretary, treasurer, usher, Sunday School teacher, missionary, and church mother). Edna was also a member of Heavenly Gospel COGIC, Assured Faith COGIC, and Nichols Temple COGIC - where her membership remained until she went to her heavenly home. In her daily life and teachings, she exemplified a phrase spoken by her Grandma Sally, “It’s Holiness or hell!”
After serving as a missionary for many years, she became an ordained minister, was active in prison ministry, and traveled to Israel twice. She was ecstatic that she was able to ride on a camel, but the highlight of her trip and Christian faith was being baptized in the Jordan River. Her face beamed when she spoke of her opportunity to ‘walk where Jesus walked’ and to be baptized again in her white robe.
Mother Smith, as she was fondly called, not only served the Lord, she encouraged others to serve Him “in Spirit and in truth”. She loved teaching and sharing the Word of God with everyone she met and would almost immediately ask, “Do you know Jesus?” Instantly she would share about her ‘Doctor Jesus’, then say, “He will keep you, if you let Him!”
Preceding her in death are her parents (Robert & Dorothy Hamilton, two sisters (Elizabeth, Linnie V.), two brothers (Verla C, Robert Lee), husband (Allen, Sr.), three sons (Frank, Robert, Allen Jr.), & four daughters (Edna Jean, Verlena Gail, Ozierene, Patricia).
Edna leaves to celebrate this wonderful homegoing, three daughters: Ellawese, Ellen, Evelyn (Ray); eight grandchildren: Eric, Andrae (Sarah), Adrienne, Pamela, Yvonne (Roger), ReNita (Dwayne), Allyn, Lee, Thomas; five great grandchildren: Tabitha, Joshua, Roslynn, Elijah, Zoë; and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.