Oliver Smith Biography, Iowa Preacher - Forward - Oliver Smith

Harold S. Paisley
The subjct of this Commemorative Compilation presents the faithful life and unique service of one who was without doubt an evangelist of unusual talent. Oliver Smith, who was born near Waterloo, Iowa, Feburary 6th 1 1883 was awakened to see his great need of Christ through the godly life of his farmer neighbor, Charles Herman. On January 31st, 1913, he trusted Christ as his Saviour and Lord. Mr. Smith often said that Mr. Herman was the most consistent Christian, and the kindest man he had ever known.

Oliver Smith, being a farmer, was specially fitted by the Lord for the great work of God amongst the farmers of Iowa. God mightily blessed him, hundreds were saved, and assemblies gathered unto the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As a young Christian in 1920, Brother Smith was greatly helped in the things of the Lord by John Blair who had come from Northern Ireland, my homeland, to visit relatives in Dunkerton, Iowa. Later in 1928 Brother William Warke, also from the North of Ireland joined him periodically in his labors in Iowa.

I first niet Oliver Smith in June 1956. On that occasion I shared my first gospel meeting in the U.S.A. with him. His earnest preaching made a deep impression upon me. When he suggested I join him for gospel meetings I was eager to have the opportunity. In September 1956, I was able to join him at Hitesville where we had the joy of seeing a number born again. Following this, he took me to visit other assemblies he had seen planted by God. On my return to the North of Ireland I received a letter from Brother Smith encouraging me to come reside and preach in the American Midwest. He added that he was indebted to brethren from the North of Ireland for their help in the things of God, and that his association with me had given him great joy and encouragement. A short time later, in May 1960 our beloved brother fell asleep and enteredi into the presence of the One whom he delighted to serve and sing His praises. Our brother had a true and devoted help meet, Pearl, who was a woman of a meek and quiet spirit, rich in faith and full of good works. Of them it can be said "lovely and pleasant in their lives and in death they are not divided".

What were the outstanding traits in this great servant of Christ? He continuously quoted and preached from the best known verses in the New Testament, and heaven and hell were realities to him. This was the secret of his success as a soul winner. He was also an ardent personal worker. Hundreds were saved through his influence. God fitted him in a remarkable way to walk up to a person whom he had never seen before, put his hand upon his shoulder and ask in a most touching manner, "Poor sinner, where will you be in eternity?" Then he would tell God's way of salvation. When I was with him on such occasions he would say "This young man tells me he is sure of being in heaven." Then he would turn to me and say "Tell this man the story of Jesus and His love." Our brother was also marked with outstanding love to the Lord Jesus, the assemblies of God, and to all the saints. Paul's words in I Cor. 13:1-8 show that without love all service is in vain.

My hope is that the tributes of appreciation and incidents of interest will be a stimulus to the present generation of believers to follow in the same path of trust in the Living God.
Leonard DeBuhr

God's Man For God's Time

As we ponder the life of Oliver G. Smith, we see a man that the eye of God was upon.

Oliver, along with his wife and four girls, was engaged in a lucrative, direct from the farm to the customer, milk delivery business. The Lord changed the course of Oliver Smith's life by dealing with him spiritually, bringing him face-to-face with reality and the all sufficient saving work of Jesus Christ. A deep love was created in him for the one who redeemed him. It made him ready to sacrifice all his past achievements to further the work of his Saviour.

He reached out to bring hungry unsatisfied souls face-to-face with their need and the saving power of the One who said, "Come unto me and I will give you rest."

Thus Oliver Smith became God's man for God's time and was used by the Spirit of God to touch the souls of men. Many today rejoice because the Word of God was brought to their attention, and they found Christ to be their Saviour. As a result, many assemblies of believers in Iowa who are today gathered alone to the "Peerless Name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Oliver Smith was a humble man not looking for the laurels and the applause of men, but sought to honor alone the One who had bore his sin on Calvary.

May his humility, coupled with his zeal, affect all of our lives as we read the following pages of this book.