Thursday, August 12, 2010

Harold Smith is remembered for leadership of On Earth Peace.

Harold Smith (89), who served as executive director of On Earth Peace in the late 1980s, died on July 21 at Huffman Nursing Center in Bridgewater, Va. He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and a committed church leader, who in other volunteer service to the church was a member of local church and district boards and was a member of the Standing Committee of Annual Conference.

Smith began his work to bring about peace in the world by serving as a conscientious objector in Civilian Public Service. He earned degrees from Bridgewater (Va.) College, the University of Maryland, American University in Washington, D.C., and attended Bethany Theological Seminary. On an international level, he served as an agricultural economist through the US Department of Agriculture in Thailand, El Salvador, and the Phillipines; as a consultant in Puerto Rico with Robert Nathan Associates; and as a member of the National Institutes of Health Nutrition Team in Panama.

In 1971 when M.R. Zigler began developing the On Earth Peace Assembly (OEPA) at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., he consulted closely with Smith who was then a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Maryland and associate director of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.

In 1983, at age 91, Zigler was no longer able to lead the work of On Earth Peace and Smith was asked to serve as executive director. He responded by retiring from his positions at the University of Maryland and the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and accepting OEPA's call. During the next six years, he provided outstanding leadership to establish the position of OEPA within the structure of the Church of the Brethren--specifically, the relationship of OEPA to the former General Board, and to raise needed funds to support OEPA programs.

He established the M.R. Zigler Endowment which grew to over $220,000 during Smith's years of service. In addition, the work of the Brethren World Peace Academy, an OEPA program for young people started by Zigler, expanded during his years of leadership.

Smith was born March 12, 1921, in Churchville, Va., the son of Enoch David and Minnie Huffman Smith. He married Mary Hoover Smith, who preceded him in death on March 27, 1979. He then married Miriam Rohrer Odom Smith, who survives. Also surviving are daughters and stepsons Darlene Carol Smith Meyers and husband, Gary; Linda Beth Smith Lumsden and husband, Chris; James Odom; Clifford Odom and wife, Barbara; Curtis Odom; and a number of grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

-- Dale Ulrich contributed to this remembrance.

Source: 8/12/2010 Newsline

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