Obituary for Jo Anna Goodwin Smith
Jo Anna Goodwin Smith, Wife and Ministry Partner of the Rev. Dr. J.
Alfred Smith, Dies
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/17/06)-Jo Anna Goodwin Smith, wife and ministry partner of the Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr., died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, August 12. She was 76.
Smith was a member of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif., where her husband is pastor. The two met when they were both students at Western Baptist College in Kansas City, Mo., and were married in 1950.
During the decade of the fifties, Smith gave birth to five children and partnered with her husband in his pastoral duties, serving several congregations in Missouri. Smith also taught black children at rural schools in the state during that era of legalized segregation.
Smith was committed to Christian service from an early age, expressing her intention to become a missionary while still a junior high school student. After graduating from high school with honors, she received a full scholarship from the Pepsi-Cola Company to attend Western Baptist College in Kansas City, Mo.
In 1960, the family moved to Berkeley, Calif., where Smith was active in public and church-sponsored education and literacy activities, as well as in scouting programs for boys and girls. She completed her undergraduate studies when the family relocated to Texas for her husband’s job at Bishop College, a historically Black college in Dallas.
She graduated from Bishop in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in education.
When the family returned to the Bay Area, Smith worked for 20 years in the Oakland Unified School District in adult education and its neighborhood center program, teaching English as a second language to newly arrived immigrants. In addition, she taught U.S. citizenship and career education classes. The last 20 years of her life, Smith focused on supporting domestic and international ministries of Allen Temple Baptist Church.
Jo Anna Goodwin Smith is survived by her husband, five children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Services commemorating the life and legacy of Jo Anna Goodwin Smith will be held Friday, Aug. 18, at 11 a.m. at the Allen Temple Baptist Church,
8501 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94621. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Allen Temple Baptist Church for the Jo Anna Goodwin Smith Scholarship Fund, Sierra Leone Mission Project.
Dr. Smith is past president of the American Baptist Churches of the West and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Judson Press recently published his book, Speak Until Justice Wakes. He also served as editor of No Other Help I Know: Sermons on Prayer and Spirituality and Outstanding Black Sermons both from Judson Press. National Ministries is developing the J. Alfred Smith Institute to encourage work on behalf of prophetic justice.
Andrew C. Jayne
American Baptist Churches, USA
Mission Resource Development
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