Elder Ronald E. Smith, Sr.

2018 President’s Award for Denominational and Community Support


Ronald's Early Life

Elder Ronald E. Smith, Sr. was born on April 12, 1949 to Claude and Annabelle Smith. While other siblings have passed, Ronald, three sisters and one brother remain. Ronald Smith grew up in the Woodlawn Community and has been a member of the Apostolic Church of God since childhood. His faith was nurtured by his mother, Annabelle, who was very active in the church. 

Within a year of graduating from Simeon Vocational High School, Ronald began his military service in the United States Marine Corps, serving with valor in the Vietnam War. After his tour of duty, he was honorably discharged and received six medals of commendation including the Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry. Ronald returned home and on March 7, 1970, he married his childhood sweetheart, Dolene Clemons. Ronald worked for the Chicago Transit Authority for 25 years to support his wife and three children. He also attended Kennedy-King College and Moody Bible Institute. The Smiths now celebrate 48 years of marriage and have four grandchildren. 

Accepting the Call to Ministry

Elder Smith accepted the call to ministry in March 1975. When he retired in 1997, he devoted himself to the full-time ministry of the Gospel. His thirst for souls to be saved and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ be preached without hesitation is the basis for his mantra: “You must be born again.” Ronald Smith’s first assignment was the care of the pastor. For 35 years he served as an armor bearer for Bishop Arthur M. Brazier. Committed to the work of the Lord, Ronald Smith has always been a stalwart volunteer in the church. In addition to doing whatever his hands found to do, Elder Smith was part of the Prison Outreach Ministry, the Internal Security Ministry, Saving Grace Ministries (Television), and the Baptismal and Prayer Committee. He served as the Vice-President and then the President of the Apostolic Church of God Men’s Ministry before working on the Men’s Ministry Leadership Team. At state and national levels of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Elder Smith was elected Young People’s President, state Brotherhood Chairman, and President of the International Men’s Ministry. Elder Smith’s commitment to the support of men’s ministry was always evident; therefore, on May 9, 1995 Elder Smith began teaching an evening class for men known as The Apostolic Man. Twenty-three years later over 1000 men have been saved through that class. 

Elder Smith's Community Work & Impact

Elder Smith’s community work began in his teens when his pastor, then Elder Arthur Brazier, was beginning his work with The Woodlawn Association (T.W.O.) Working with community organizers Ronald became the Vice President and later the Chairman of the Youth Committee of T.W.O. during the time when the organization was instrumental in desegregating Chicago’s schools. Over the years, his community involvement has included serving on the Board of Directors of the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corporation, becoming President of the Hyde Park High School Local School Council, and completing his tenure as a board member of the Park Shore East Cooperative.

Elder Smith's Achievements and Legacy

In September 2008 Elder Ronald E. Smith was named to the position of Assistant Pastor at the Apostolic Church of God. Under the pastorate of Dr. Byron T. Brazier Elder Smith serves on the Official Board and leads the Seniors Ministry for the church. He regularly teaches, preaches, gives counsel to church members, and officiates funerals and weddings. 

Elder and Sister Smith are proud of their children who all serve the Lord with gladness. His son, Ronald Jr., is the pastor of His Cloud of Glory Christian Center in Elgin, Illinois.