The Revd Barrie Smith: 1951-2017
Regional minister who will be remembered for his pastoral care, skill in handling conflict, conduct of worship, friendliness and mischievous sense of humour
A memorial service for Barrie Smith was held in Hall Green Baptist Church, Birmingham on 15 November. Tributes were paid by family, Association, magistracy, friends, and the minister of Hall Green, the Revd Lynn Britten.
Barrie entered Bristol Baptist College from his home in South Wales in 1970. He had a student placement at Hall Green in 1972, returning in 1992 with his wife and family for membership, and remaining there until his death.
He graduated in 1975, and became minister of Hope Baptist Church in Plymouth. There he learned the importance of pastoral care. In 1980 he became minister of Salem Baptist Church, Cheltenham. Under his leadership the church created a programme of service in the community including a Centre for Unemployed People, Friday night coffee bar, luncheon club, shoppers’ coffee, and uniformed organisations.
In 1992 he became General Secretary of West Midland Baptist Association and accompanying Trust Association, managing the resources of the Association and making them available to the churches. He set about reorganising the Association with great enthusiasm and skill. He serviced the many committees and worked well with two Superintendents and other employees of the Association for whom he was line manager. He remained there when national reorganisation brought into being the Heart of England Regional Association (HEBA), serving HEBA as minister for pastoral care, and latterly regional minister for South Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire.
He served on the Baptist Union Council as trustee, chaired the General Purposes and Finance Committee, and served on many sub committees and working groups. He was a member of the Bristol Baptist College Council and chaired its Finance Committee.
Ecumenically committed, he worked with church leaders in the region, serving on the Joint Public Issues Team, Birmingham Churches Together, and Churches Together in Coventry and Warwickshire. The magistracy was important to him and he served on the bench for many years. He was awarded an MA from Birmingham University.
He will be remembered for his pastoral care, skill in handling conflict, conduct of worship, friendliness and mischievous sense of humour.
Married to Kathryn, he was a family man and together they delighted in their family - Andrew, Sarah, Jonathan and Stephen - and in later years, their partners and six grandchildren; family holidays were very special. A passion for rugby football never left him.
Terminal illness forced retirement but he was able to spend time with the family. He fought his illness valiantly, spending his last days in the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull. He will be sadly missed.