Elder James Earl Smith, born in Indianola, MS on September 18, 1954, was the second of five children born to the late Grady Lee Smith and Willie Mae Swanson. He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Grady Lee Smith, Jr., his bonus mom Nora J. Smith and his precious daughter, Baby Quanza Sharie Smith.
Elder James E. Smith grew up in Indianola, MS, where he was affectionately known and called ‘Pistol’ by his family, friends and close acquaintances.
After graduating high school in 1973, he went on to join the United States Army, where he served from July of 1974 to July 1977. It was there that he learned to drive the big trucks. He also attended Brookdale Community College in Middletown, NJ.
Elder Smith married Ms. Sharon Diane Mack, his wife of thirty-five plus years, on June 9, 1987 in Mississippi. They moved to Hammond, IN in 1988. To their union, three children were born: Quanza Sharie, Matthew Terrell and David Earl. He was big on family and was a great hardworking provider for his wife and children. Before his illness forced him into early retirement, he would work for seven days a week and twelve hours each day. He maintained this example of work ethic throughout his career.
Elder Smith had a love for the scriptures and oftentimes after a work shift he could be found nestled with the Word deep in his biblical studies. On September 27, 2012 Elder Smith received his Bachelor of Theology from GMORE International Theological Institute of America. He loved serving in the church. Elder Smith was a prayer intercessor in that he would lay hands on the people and pray for whatever ailed them. He accepted his call into the ministry and began preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ under the leadership of Supt. Obe Hendricks at the Progressiveway Mission Church of God in Christ in Chicago, IL. He would later serve in two other churches: The Church of God in Christ in Gary, IN under the leadership of Bishop B. A. Sanders; for whom he proudly served as Adjutant; and Solid Rock Church of God in Christ in Indianapolis, IN under the leadership of Supt. James R. Darty, where he remained until his transition.
Elder James Earl Smith leaves to cherish his memories a devoted wife, Sharon Diane Smith; two daughters: Torran Moshelle Cobbs of Indianola, MS and Benita Roshaun (Terry) Gilbert of Indianapolis, IN; four sons: James Earl Rucker of Grand Rapids, MI, Demario Trevell (Lanishia) Mack, Matthew Terrell (Carlene) Smith, and David Earl Smith all of Greenwood, IN; fifteen grandchildren; one sister: Eula Henderson of Indianola, MS; two brothers: Charlie (Luella) Smith of Chicago, IL and Steve (Vivian ) Hoskins of Riviera Beach, FL; and one special cousin who’s been more like a brother, Willie J. Robinson (Sam).
Pistol was loved and will truly be missed.