Reverend Rolla D. Smith, former general director of Free Will Baptist Foreign Missions, died on March 15, 2013. The 92-year-old was hospitalized and diagnosed with pneumonia in early March. Brother Smith was transferred to a Nashville rehab facility, where he continued to decline until his death.
Reverend Smith had the unique privilege of serving as general director two times. He was first asked to serve in 1959 and continued until 1962. Following his resignation as general director, the Missouri native was elected to the mission board where he served faithfully from August 1962 until July 1975. During those years, he also pastored churches in Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee. The board asked him to serve a second stint as general director and Smith spent another 11 years at the helm (1975-1986) of the foreign missions department. “Uncle Rolla,” as missionary kids worldwide called him, loved missionary families and was passionate about getting the gospel to the regions beyond.