Rev. Deborah Smith
September 23, 1950 – January 21, 2017
Debbie was raised in the Hermon Free Methodist Church, faithfully attending Sunday School, Jr. Missionary Society, VBS and CYC. She accepted Christ as her Savior at age 11 at Oak Glen Pines Junior Camp and soon began her life of Christian ministry and evangelism. She attended college at Cal State LA, receiving her teaching credential, and then taught at East LA Light & Life Christian School for 12 years under the leadership of Rev. David & Nellie Fenwick.
In 1981 Debbie received her call to pastoral ministry at Family Camp at Warm Beach, WA. She graduated with her M.A. in Theology from Fuller Seminary in 1987 and was appointed to Hermon as an associate pastor for one year. When funding was no longer available there, Debbie went on to teach at Pasadena Christian School and then with LAUSD for the remainder of her teaching career.
Over the years Debbie had many health issues. She was a breast cancer survivor from 1994, but the chemo drugs damaged her heart. She received a heart transplant in 2003 and then went back to teaching after being out on medical leave for over a year. In recent years she was dealing with kidney failure and was put on dialysis. Throughout these circumstances she continued to be a prayer warrior and an evangelist wherever she went. When Debbie was ordained as an Elder last year, she said, “I feel the urgency to spread the gospel and bring new believers into the Kingdom of God.”
In December of 2016, Debbie flew to Colorado to spend the holidays with her family. While there she suffered a stroke and eventually passed peacefully, with her family nearby. Debbie was a person of deep conviction, passion and love for Christ and His church. She will be greatly missed.