Bishop Henry Smart, Jr. was born in Miami, FL on July 2, 1946, to the late Henry and Cora Lee Smart and at three months he was taken in and reared by his grandmother, Hattie B. Carter.
After graduating from Douglass High School in 1963, he enlisted in the Armed Services as medic for two years during the Vietnam War. Prior to serving his country, at the age of 19, he was called into the ministry. After military duty he was appointed pastor of New Jerusalem Holiness Church under the leadership of the late Bishop Mose Williams, Founder of the Pure Church of Righteousness.
On July 1, 1978, the young Henry Smart, Jr. married the apple of his eye and the love of his life, Barbara Smart. They were joined together in holy matrimony for 43 years, and their love for the Lord and each other created the foundation for their marriage to flourish until death separated them. During Bishop Smart’s final days on this side of heaven, his wife, Barbara, provided unwavering and unconditional love to her husband until he took his final breath on earth. Their love story will be remembered and cherished for many years to come.
Bishop Henry Smart took great pride and joy in caring for his family. One of his greatest accomplishments was being a father to his children. He loved each one of them dearly and enjoyed spending time with them. He believed in family, and he worked tirelessly to build and leave a righteous legacy that will have a lasting impact.
Following his faithful pastoral labor of fifteen years at the New Jerusalem Holiness Church, God gave Bishop Smart a vision to start a church, The Tabernacle of Faith Community Church, where he worked untiringly for three years. There was a need for pastors in the Sanctified Churches of God Without Spot or Wrinkle, under the leadership of the late Bishop Samuel Bannister, who appointed Bishop Smart as pastor of Holy Temple Church, where he served for eighteen years and served as pastor of Zion Temple Holiness Church of White Springs, FL for 19 years.
In 2003, Bishop Smart became a part of Our Daily Bread Gospel Tabernacle, under the leadership of the late Bishop Horace Brown, Sr., who then appointed him pastor of St. John Holiness Church, where he labored for ten years.
In February 2013, Bishop Smart was led by God to reestablish The Tabernacle of Faith Community Church, in which worship services were being held in a small store front building.
On July 27, 2013, Bishop Smart was called into a higher ministry and set apart and ordained to do the work of the office of bishop in the gospel ministry by authority of the Bethany Refuge Empowerment Ministries. He then went on to oversee Open House of Prayer, Tabernacle of Faith Church in Lake City, FL with Elder Lujack Smith serving as pastor and the late Pastor Barbara Woods of Greater Emmanuel in Wildwood, FL.
Bishop Smart was also a revival evangelist who went about preaching and teaching the word of God unto many, at churches in the community and surrounding counties.
In 2016, God blessed Bishop Smart and the Tabernacle of Faith Church Family with a sanctuary that has been fully renovated and dedicated for the services of the Lord.
Bishop Smart was actively involved in numerous civic organizations. He worked as a gospel promoter and DJ for WQHL Radio for forty years, and organized the first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance and Celebration in Suwannee County. He was the founder of the Evening Gospel Train radio show. He also help sponsor the first Evening Gospel Train Pageant for young ladies in 1993. He was member of the Live Oak Elks Lodge. He was appointed to the Office of President for the Voter’s League, NAACP, Ministerial Alliance and served on the Board of Directors for the Housing Authority in Live Oak, FL.
Today, because of his participation in the lawsuit obtaining single-member districts for Suwannee County, he was recognized by the mayor of Live Oak, FL for outstanding service as a community leader for social justice and equal opportunity for all people. He was also personally involved in the Election of our First Black United States President, Barack Obama and attended and witnessed his inauguration in Washington, DC.
For over the years, Bishop Smart was employed with the City of Jacksonville and the City of Live Oak, Alltel Telephone Company, Suwannee County School System, and Surrey Place Nursing Home.
Bishop Smart enjoyed working outside in the yard and went on to establish and became owner and operator of Cleanup Time Lawn service which contracted local businesses.
Bishop Smart has worked with numerous churches and organizations through the years. He has mentored and encouraged ministers just starting out in the gospel field. He dedicated time to visit the shut in and those in the nursing homes. He graciously gave out of the abundance of his heart to anyone that had need. He enjoyed cooking for church functions and blessed so many in the community during holidays and special events with his famous sweet potato pies and macaroni and cheese.
Bishop Smart was a firm believer in family, and he exemplified this through his love and support of family in whatever capacity was needed. We shall cherish his legacy and life that will forever illuminate our hearts.
Bishop Smart was faithful and dedicated to his church work and he especially had a heart for the youth and made sure they were involved in church worship. He believed in having a glorious time and starting church on time.
Bishop Smart completed the work that God ordained him to do on April 26, 2022 and has finished his course. He now has laid up for him a crown of righteousness.
His favorite scripture was; “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
“May the work that I have done, speak for me.”
Preceding Bishop Smart in death, were his parents, Henry and Cora Lee Smart; Grandparents, Elder and Mother Willie C. Carter; Sisters, Ethel Loftland and Patricia Ann Smart; Brother, Willie Smart;
Those left to cherish his life and legacy are: His loving and devoted wife of 43 years, Minister Barbara Smart; His children, Cassandra Aymond of Lake City, FL, Pamela (Nathaniel) Dixon, Angela Smart of Tallahassee, FL, Kimberly Elliott, Brian (Bridgette) Elliott of Jacksonville, FL, Priscilla (Casharo) Thomas of Live Oak, FL, Henry Smart III of New York, NY, and Rev. Marcus A. Allen of Philadelphia, PA
Sister, Mickey Rechelle Smart of Perry, FL; Brothers, Bishop Daniel Smart of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Edward Davis of Lake City, FL, Darnell Smart, of Philadelphia, PA, Robert Smart of Cherry, NJ.
Grandchildren; Jalysa (Lemuel) Dozier, Kiana Harper, Briana Elliott, Alysscia Rhodes, Jasmine Barton, Tierra Elliott, Joshua Aymond, Dexter (Sylvia) Rhodes, Samuel Aymond, Joseph Aymond, Claresha Elliott, Anthony Harper, Jr. and a special and devoted granddaughter, Kiera (Booger) Harper; Great-grandchild; Ashton Mercer (son of Briana); Mother-in-law, Minister Lillie Mae Ansley; Brothers-in-law, Jerome Ansley, Minister Edward (Mary) Ansley, Wilbur Ansley: Sisters-in-law, Margaret McGee, Lillie (Pastor Jerry) Thomas, Minister Tina (Minister Robert) Roberts, and Loretta Ansley.
A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, friends and a very special niece, Shawn Denise Smart, Special god sister, Tiny Clayton and a host of god children.
In addition, mourning his departure is his beloved Tabernacle of Faith Community Church family.
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