The Rev. Paul Smith, 94

St. John's Lutheran pastor

September 06, 2007

The Rev. Paul H. Smith, pastor emeritus of St. John's Lutheran Church in Parkville, died of a stroke Aug. 29 at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The Timonium resident was 94.

Born in Bloserville, Pa., he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Gettysburg College and a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Lutheran Theological Seminary. He also earned a master's and a doctorate in sacred theology.

He was ordained in 1937 and served at North Carroll Lutheran Parish in Lineboro from 1937 to 1942, Trinity Lutheran Church in Milton, Pa., from 1942 to 1948 and St. Mark's Lutheran Church on St. Paul Street from 1948 to 1958.

He was pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church in Parkville from 1958 until his retirement in 1978. During his pastorate at St. John's, the congregation grew to become the second-largest Lutheran congregation in Maryland. Family members said he officiated at more than 1,000 marriages.

Baltimore County declared June 1, 1978, the day he retired, Paul Smith Day.

In retirement, he was an assistant to the pastor and interim pastor of First English Lutheran Church in Baltimore, where services were held Tuesday. He also served on the pastoral care teams at St. Joseph Medical Center and Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

He assisted various congregations during pastoral vacancies. He was an instructor in biblical studies at Gettysburg College for a year and an instructor at Baltimore Lutheran Deaconess School from 1954 to 1965. He was a past president of the Eastern Conference of the Maryland Synod.

He enjoyed sacred music, sports, bridge, gardening and spending time with his family.

Survivors include two sons, Paul David Smith of Rehoboth Beach, Del., and Joel Frederick Smith of Finksburg; two daughters, Deborah Carolyn Talbott Parrish of Timonium and Suzanne Kathryn Rowe of Parkville; nine grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. His wife of 66 years, the former Kathryn E. Picking, died in 2001.

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