Bill and Phyllis Smith, who have served in a variety of Charis Fellowship churches and ministries, were featured in the Warsaw, Ind., Times-Union on Saturday. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Winona Couple Attribute Long Marriage To Love, Faith
The Smiths live at Grace Village in Winona Lake after having lived in places from California to Florida.
“We picked living here, because we love it,” Bill said. “We’ve been here about six years, and we’re here by choice.”
The Smiths were married Aug. 25, 1955, after meeting at a church in California when he was 29 and she was 26.
“I grew up in D.C., went to high school and the pastor at the church that I went to was at Grace Brethren and he said you need to go to Grace Seminary, because I started preaching when I was 17 years old in Washington, D.C.,” Bill said. “I spoke at the mission, the jail, evangelistic meetings for a week or two and got to know a number of real important people in Washington, D.C., and I came to Grace Seminary for one year. I thought that’s corn fields, I’ll never be happy, but I came and stayed for three years, and I love it. I love the lakes, the slow way of living and I was tired of the politics of Washington, D.C.”
When Bill graduated from Grace Seminary, he was single.
“And I really didn’t have any real love affair,” he recalled. “I was preaching special evangelistic meetings, I was in South Bend, Fort Wayne, places I’d never been before, and then one of my travels took me to California when I was preaching in a church there, and I met Phyllis.”
Phyllis was teaching at a Christian day school when they met.
Bill told a story about how he was 29 years old and had a week of meetings in Albuquerque, N.M., when a woman asked him before he left if he thinks he will ever get married.
“I said, I doubt it. And she said I’m gonna pray for you,” Bill recalled. “I left Albuquerque, I went to Whittier, Calif., I had lunch with the superintendent of the school where Phyllis taught, and he and I went to lunch together and he said I want you to come back with me to my school, I want you to meet my staff of teachers. I met Phyllis. I fell in love with her, and here this girl (in New Mexico) had asked me are you gonna get married, and I was resigned to the fact at 29 I can live single, I’ll travel, I can do this, I’ll have big cars and have a great life. But I married Phyllis and had a better life. We had two wonderful children and I look back, and I’m telling you from my heart I look back and I thank God for the life I’ve lived.”
Bill is now 94 and Phyllis is 92.
Click here to read the complete article.