Funeral celebrates Doyle Smith’s life

Long-time KNCSB leader Doyle Smith died unexpectedly on Tuesday, Oct. 20. He went out for his morning jog and his wife, Carol, found later him in their garage.

Smith was a brilliant but humble man who touched countless people as a pastor and a key KNCSB leader.

He and his wife, Carol, had served at First Southern Baptist Church, Great Bend, Kan., since April 1972.

“I have been the pastor of many churches in one location. Each of them has had their unique challenges and people to meet those challenges. I have never felt that my call to work here was finished,” Smith wrote in a testimony in April 2012 when he and Carol celebrated their 40th anniversary at the church.

Smith served as KNCSB president and vice president. He was the key influence in KNCSB acquiring Webster Conference Center in 1981. Smith served as president of the WCC board of directors for the first 10 years of the conference center’s history. He also served on the Midwestern Seminary board.

His latest role in Kansas-Nebraska was serving as president of the Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptist Foundation. He assumed that role in May 2000.

A capacity crowd attended Smith’s funeral on Saturday, Oct. 24, at First Southern, Great Bend. Peck Lindsay led the service with the help of Smith’s sons Brian and Todd. Lindsay is the retired KNCSB executive director who now serves as the KNCSB town-and-country strategist.

Lindsay told how Smith quickly became a key influence in KNCSB soon after arriving in Great Bend in 1972.

“Doyle became the most influential person in our convention,” Lindsay told the crowd. “You can’t know the influence Doyle has had across our convention.”

Brian Smith told of his father’s great gifts in preaching—it was “practical and practicable.” Doyle Smith believed God had called him to show Christ to people through teaching the Bible and modeling his life as seen in 1 Corinthians 11:1.

Todd Smith, Smith’s second son, said, “He lived to the very end doing exactly what he believed in.”

Some of the lessons he learned from his father were:

  • “Find your ministry calling and do it no matter what.”
  • “Be a person of integrity.”
  • “I learned from my Dad to be a learner in life.” As just one example, Doyle Smith “became a student of finance and investing.” And that led to another life lesson: “Make compounding interest your friend.”
  • The value of hard work. Doyle Smith “liked manual labor for fun. That wasn’t very popular during our teenage years,” Todd Smith said of himself and his three brothers.
  • “The Bible is to be treasured.”
  • “Church is your spiritual family.”
  • “Put God first in everything.”

Smith’s testimony from the 40th anniversary celebration in April 2012 seemed to sum up his life:

“I think that my situation is not unique. God calls all of his servants to the work that needs to be done. We are to do it whether we want to or not. We do it until God tells us we are finished.”

Survivors include his wife, Carol; four sons: Brian Smith and his wife Danielle, Lincoln, Neb.; Todd Smith and his wife Taasha, Lenexa,Kan.; Barry Smith and his wife Jennifer, San Francisco, Calif.; and Lane Smith also of San Francisco; three sisters: Thelma Hall and her husband Lee, Pea Ridge, Ark.; Patty Stertz, Bella Vista, Ark.; and Darlene Smith of Jenks, Okla.; six grandchildren, Jett Smith, Aniston Smith, Isabel Smith, Ellsie Smith, Sofia Smith and baby Smith due in November.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Allison Leigh Smith.

Memorials may be sent to the Judea Fund at KNCSB. This fund is used for ministry in Kansas and Nebraska. Make contributions out to KNCSB and designate them for the Judea Fund/Doyle Smith Memorial. Send them to KNCSB, 5410 SW 7th St., Topeka, KS 66606.

Bryant Funeral Home in Great Bend was in charge of arrangements. Read the obituary and view a memorial video