David Arthur Smith, 73, of Bemidji, formerly of Zimmerman, died Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at his home of cancer.
He was born in Hibbing, Minn. on Nov. 28, 1937, to Arthur and Helen Smith.
He married Barbara Tobey in 1957. He graduated from Oak Hills Bible Institute (now Oak Hills Christian College) in 1958 and from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a teaching degree in English and social studies in 1958 and taught public school in Duluth and Hibbing before becoming a teacher at Oak Hills in 1964. He graduated from Bemidji State University in 1972 with a master’s degree in counseling.
Rev. Smith taught at Oak Hills for the next 10 years and also served in various roles as camp director, missions ministries director and academic dean. He and his wife moved to International Fails in 1974 where he served as the pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church and to Zimmerman in 1980, where he served as pastor of the Evangelical Free Church, until he became president of Oak Hills in 1983. He served in that capacity until 1988.
Since that time, Rev. Smith served various churches as pastor and/or interim pastor. During those years he also returned to Oak Hills to serve in a variety of roles.
He was buried in a private family service. A public memorial service conducted by the Rev. Fred Martin will be held at The Evangelical Free Church of Bemidji on Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m.
Rev. Smith is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Patricia (Brian) Lofgren of Bemidji, Jennifer (Barry) Durkee of Alexandria, and Joan (Ron) Berntson of rural Bagley; 19 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and brother, Don (Doris) of Shelby, N.C.
The family requests memorial gifts in lieu of flowers to: Oak Hills Christian College, 1600 Oak Hills Road S.W., Bemidji, Minn. 56601; The Evangelical Free Church of Bemidji, 115 Carr Lake Road S.W., Bemidji, Minn.; or Caring Bridge.