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SMITH, FRANK A.

SMITH, FRANK A. (1 May 1894-8 Aug. 1992) was a long-time pastor in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and a charter member of Lane C.M.E. Church in Cleveland.

One of eight children of the Reverend Anthony T. and Caroline Smith, Frank was born in Monticello, GA, where he early learned the role of the circuit preacher.

In 1902 his family came to Cleveland, where together with seven other families which had emigrated from Georgia, they became charter members of Lane Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the denomination's first church in Cleveland.

Smith completed elementary school in Cleveland before attending Lane College in Jackson, TN. He then attended Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, OH, and Toledo University. He completed his BA degree at the University of Akron, and then completed a bachelor's and master's degree in divinity at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Following his studies he served as pastor in several churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Kansas. During WW II he spent just over two years in the Army's chaplain corps.

Retiring from full-time ministry in 1966, Smith returned to Cleveland and to Lane C.M.E. Church as an assistant pastor. In 1984, he wrote A Pilgrimage of Faith, a history of the congregation. In 1969 he also became active in civil rights efforts, and became joint coordinator of a United Methodist Church leadership program for the local African-American community.

Smith married twice. His first wife Helen died in 1966. His second wife was Marie. Smith is buried is White Haven Park.