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Missionary Legend Gwendolyn S. Smith Honored


April 2024, Mobile, AL… On February 17, 2024, Mrs. Gwendolyn S. Smith was honored by the Jackson District Women’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society (W.H.O.M.S.) under the leadership of the newly appointed president, Mrs. Melissa Grannum, at the First Mass Meeting held at Mt. Olive A. M. E. Zion Church. The theme of the celebration was “May the work I’ve done speak for me”—based on Colossians 3:23-24. Musical selections were rendered by Ms. Mary Wilson and the Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion Church Choir. A digital presentation of Mrs. Smith’s missionary journey was shown. Accolades were given by Rev. John P. Gant, Presiding Elder of the Jackson District, Jackson District Departments, Pastors, along with friends and members of her family. Mrs. Smith was blessed by the presence of her sons, Rev. Dr. Malone D. Smith, Presiding Elder of the Tallahassee District, Duane Smith, Byron Smith, and Ethan Smith, one of her three grandchildren. Mrs. Smith is the widow of the late Rev. Malone Smith, Jr., former Presiding Elder of the Jackson District. They labored faithfully together in God’s kingdom side-by-side until he was called home to be with the Lord.

The close of the West Alabama Annual Conference in November 2023 marked the end of an era of Mrs. Smith’s service to the Jackson District Women’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society. She has faithfully served the Society for 37 years. In 1986, she was appointed YAMS Coordinator of the Jackson District. She was appointed president in 1991 and served as president until her retirement.

Mrs. Smith’s legacy is one of love and dedication to mission work. She was always available to lend a listening ear to the district officers and local church missionary officers, often serving as a wise and gentle mother figure to many. Under her leadership, along with the Area Agency on Aging of South Alabama, the Caregivers College was instituted in the Jackson District to provide resources for area caregivers. This event is held every November at the State Street A. M. E. Zion Church. Her compassion for the success of our youth inspired her, along with Rev. Erika Horn (former Jackson District Youth Secretary), to establish a Career Fair, which is annually held in July at the Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club in Mobile, AL. Youth from the A. M. E. Zion Church and Boys & Girls Clubs in Mobile County attend this event. Mrs. Smith and Rev. Horn work with local industries, government agencies, hospitals, clinics, and non-profits to have representatives present to inspire youth in their career choices. Mrs. Smith has been instrumental in organizing the Back-2-School Bash, the Women’s Retreat, ACT Mock Testing, the Legends of Zion Gala, food, shoe drives, and eyeglass drives.

Mrs. Smith is retiring as President of the Jackson District Women’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society, but by no means is she slowing down. She plans to continue to serve as WHOMS President at her local church, Mt. Olive A.M.E. Zion Church. She plans to work with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, to be involved in civic engagements, volunteering, take line dance and exercise classes, and spend more time with her grandchildren.

Yes! Mrs. Gwendolyn S. Smith has left her mark on the Jackson District, and her tireless efforts and unwavering commitment have not gone unnoticed. She is a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who follow in her footsteps.

Missionary, Legend, Gwendolyn S. Smith, Honored


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