Cover photo for Reverend Dr. Jules Smith's Obituary
Reverend Dr. Jules Smith Profile Photo
1947 Reverend 2022

Reverend Dr. Jules Smith

April 9, 1947 — October 17, 2022

Parker, CO

Jules Earl Smith, was born prematurely to the late Pastor John Smith and Sarah Cotton Kennedy Smith on April 9, 1947 at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was named by a touring doctor who thought the premature baby was a precious jewel.  He was the third of six children. On Monday, October 17, 2022 at 7:27 am Jules received a summons from his earthly house of pain and suffering to his mansion just over the hilltop, on the eternal streets of glory.

Jules was educated in the public schools of West Feliciana Parish in St. Francisville, Louisiana, where he graduated from John S. Dawson High School with honors as third in his class.

Jules was always preparing for Christian leadership.  When he was a young boy he would “hold church services” with his younger siblings and cousins pretending to be his congregation.  If they didn’t shout he would discipline them with switches. He was responsible for his family from a very early age and taught himself how to comb his sister’s hair by braiding grass blades together. He was a brilliant student and shared his love for learning by tutoring his classmates and friends. Jules was a compassionate teacher and believed in life learning.  He taught his own father how to read the Bible.

As he began his Christian journey, he developed his essential leadership and clergical skills, which were instilled in him by his parents. He accompanied them to multiple churches and soon gained a love for music and church administration. He was baptized August 25, 1957 by Reverend D.H. Grimes at Rasberry Baptist Church II in Jackson, Louisiana.  He was the parish pianist for the Northern District and played at several churches in the community.  Jules was an activist and a Civil Rights leader in and around the parishes of Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana.  He taught older Black citizens how to read, sign their names and memorize the preamble to the Constitution, combating the racist “Grandfather Clause” and Louisiana literacy laws that prevented Blacks from voting.

He met a young lady, Ida Ruth Gice, the younger sister of a classmate he was tutoring, Fred Gice. He bribed Fred to bring his younger sister to his 16th birthday party and their enduring love was sparked that evening. They married in 1969 and from this union two children were born, Alicia Terrelle and Kimani Darmon Smith.

In the fall of 1969 he graduated from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge with a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics. Jules was recruited at the Southern University Placement Center for his first professional job at Western Union Telegraph Company.  He moved his young family to New York City, the “Big Apple” for this opportunity.  Jules excelled in all levels of sales and eventually became a Regional Vice President. Jules was the first African American to travel and train others in the field of telecommunications, singing telegrams, mail grams and many other tele-type products.

He found a new church home and spiritual guidance at Unity Baptist Church, Bronx, New York, under the pastorage of Reverend Alex Kennedy. In his spiritual development he was a Sunday School teacher, church clerk, choir director, pianist, Deacon and eventually the Chair of Deacons. He answered the call to preach in June 1976 and preached his first sermon, “Investments over Dividends”. He grew in his ministry and became the Assistant Pastor. He was ordained in November 1981. He served Unity for eleven years before being promoted and transferred to Denver, Colorado in 1982. Upon his arrival, he immediately joined Union Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. A.L. Bowman. Jules served as a Radio Ministry Sunday School Teacher and Commentator of weekly broadcasts on KDKO radio station. He served the Mission Sisters and Citywide Brotherhood of Denver.

On September 6, 1986, he was called to shepherd Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. The little church on the corner of Dayton and Florida Street had thirty-three members.  After thirty-six years of his leadership it now holds a membership of over three thousand and the campus encompasses property valued at over thirteen million. The ministry now serves a diverse community and provides global ministry including West and South Africa, the Bahamas, China, Chile and Bolivia. He was the founder of the Rising Star Christian Academy, a Christian school teaching children pre-kindergarten through fifth grades.

Pastor Smith was known for his inspiring soul-reaching sermons and well-versed Bible studies. He was an energetic preacher and has been called “A Preacher’s Pastor”.  He guided, advised and ordained sixty-five sons and daughters in the ministry over the years. He was considered a spiritual father to many and was called “Pops” by men and women around the globe.

Pastor Smith received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Union Theological School, New York, New York; Masters in Biblical Studies, Union Baptist School of Theology, Denver, Colorado;

Doctorate of Divinity, Survine Ministries, Denver, Colorado; Doctor of Ministry, Denver Urban Theological Institute, Denver, Colorado and a Doctorate of Divinity, St. Thomas University, Jacksonville, Florida.

He was the 1st Vice President of the General Missionary Baptist Convention. Past Treasurer of the American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains (ABCRM). Pastor Smith holds memberships in the Denver Ministerial Alliance and the Baptist Ministers Conference of Denver, Salem Baptist District Association, and the Congress of Christian Workers.  He received the Inaugural Rohi Ministry Award, The Syl Morgan Smith Academy of Music Pastor of the Year Award 2008, and Church of the Year Award 2009 and 2010, a Community Spotlight Award by the Church of God and Christ and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission Humanitarian award in 2019.  He continued his love of activism and community service throughout the years and helped to establish the Aurora, Colorado Chapter of the NAACP. He was an original member of the Colorado Black Roundtable. He served on  the Aurora Regional Medical Center Community Relations Board, Pastoral Care Associate Member of the Churches Transformation Consultation Team, and  US Congressman Ed Perlmutter 7th Congressional District Community Advisory Board.

In November 2021, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He completed a stem cell transplant, several rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation. He fought every step of the way.  He succumbed to these illnesses at home on Monday, October 17, 2022 at 7:27 am surrounded by his loving wife and children.

He leaves to cherish and adore his memory, his sweetheart of sixty years, Reverend Dr. Ida Ruth Gice Smith, two adult children, Alicia “Lisa” Young (Reverend J Michael) and Kimani Smith; a daughter-in-love, Seyria Smiley (Anthony) of Newnan Georgia;  three grandchildren, SGT Breon Cre Smith, US Army; Brennon “Rudii” Smith, Brooklyn Caprice Hicks (Nicholas) and one great grandchild, Brooks Alexander Hicks. His surviving siblings are Nettie Mae Robinson and Deacon John Henry Smith both of St. Francisville, Louisiana.  His sister-in-laws Johnnie M. Cobbins of Dallas, Texas; Mary L. Callies (Lonnie) of Aurora, Colorado and E. Teresa Nelson (MacArthur) of Ventress, Louisiana. His very close and ‘favorite” cousins Mary Elliot of Riverdale, Georgia; Dianne Williams (Jerry “Johnny”) of Baker, Louisiana; Ruby Arcenaux and Brenda Lewis of Las Vegas, Nevada; Shirley (Raymond) Washington of New Orleans, Louisiana; and Royal Arcenaux (Debra) of Hammond, Louisiana. His nephew and son in the ministry Bishop Calvin N. Emery (Pastor Shawne) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His adopted son Curtis Powells; a close friend and confidante Deacon Don Griggs (Donna); his first son in the ministry Pastor Gregory Johnson, faithful friends Ruth Pettes, Eileen Burnley, Cora Hampton, William Payne, a special daughter Teisha Robinson all of Colorado, and his son in the ministry Pastor James Henry Buck, Jr. of Pennsylvania- all who cared for him in his final days and hours.  He will be missed by a host of peers in the ministry, godchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, Rising Star Church Family and the community.

He was preceded in death by his parents Pastor John and Sarah Smith, and his three brothers; William, Eddie Lee and Emmanuel.

This true and dedicated servant of the Most High God will be missed.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Reverend Dr. Jules Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, November 4, 2022

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Mountain time)

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church

1500 S Dayton St, Aurora, CO 80247

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Community Service (Wake)

Friday, November 4, 2022

Starts at 6:00 pm (Mountain time)

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church

1500 S Dayton St, Aurora, CO 80247

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church

1500 S Dayton St, Aurora, CO 80247

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