For Immediate Release
Contact: Yvette Vanterpool
MMBB Financial Services
New York, NY—MMBB Financial Services mourns the loss of former executive director, Rev. Dr. Gordon Smith. Rev. Smith passed away on Monday July 8, in Burnsville, MN. He was 85 years old.
“Gordon’s leadership greatly contributed to the stability and progression of MMBB,” commented Louis P. Barbarin, executive director of MMBB Financial Services. “Gordon continued to support MMBB financially in retirement and his visionary, brave and generous legacy will always be evident in our mission. We will never forget him.”
Smith served MMBB for 22 years, starting as assistant treasurer in 1975 until he was elected treasurer in 1977. He became deputy executive director in 1986 and served as executive director from 1990 until his retirement in 1997.
Smith’s direct successor as executive director, Rev. Dr. Sumner M. Grant, said, “Gordon Smith was an innovative break-through leader. Though his term was brief, his vision laid a foundation which allowed us to transform MMBB into a first-class financial services company. I will always be grateful for his mentorship and friendship.”
“I was privileged to work with Gordon Smith when I joined the National Executive Council of the ABCUSA in 1991,” said Dr. Aidsand F Wright-Riggins II, executive director of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. “When ‘Gordy’ talked about the better maintenance of the ministry, he was quite serious about it. He was doggedly determined that men and women in ministry were afforded all the dignity in work, retirement and death that secular workers and professionals claimed. When Jesus spoke about being as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove, I’m pretty sure that he had people like Gordon Smith in mind. Gordy was both tough-minded and tenderhearted. My sadness at his passing is prefaced by a smile regarding his life.”
A memorial service will be held for family and friends at Judson Memorial Baptist Church on 41st and Harriet in Minneapolis on July 27, at 10 am. A memorial fund has been established in Gordon’s name at: The Minister and Missionaries Benefit Board, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10115.