The year was 1915...
...and Elder A. R. Schooler
, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, was the leader of a small group who met in a home near 30th and Dearborn in Chicago for weekly worship and Bible study. Soon, the modest congregation transitioned from a small home to a two-story, four-flat building at 3813 South Indiana Avenue. Their new place of worship would be called The Apostolic Faith Church
The year 1919, marked a time of growing racial injustice and prejudice in the South. A young man named John Silas Holly
left Louisiana and journeyed to Chicago for a better life; little did he realize that the new "life" he sought would be one dedicated to his being a disciple of truth and result in 59 years of unwavering service to God and mankind. He entered into the ministry in 1920, serving faithfully and fervently at the Apostolic Faith Church under Elder Schooler. In February of 1922, he married a lovely young school teacher, Effie Genoa Gordon, who would labor by his side throughout their 57 years of marriage.
...the beloved Elder Schooler passed away, and John Silas Holly was appointed as the pastor of Apostolic Faith Church by Bishop G. T. Haywood
, Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, known as the PAW. It was through the tireless and often unremitting leadership of Pastor and Sister Holly that the Apostolic Faith Church completely remodeled the four-flat building into a two-story church structure with a 500-seat auditorium. This building project served as a spiritual and natural victory through the faith of the pastor, his wife, and the small congregation. The job was completed, and the mortgage on the property was paid off in a short time...all during the height of The Great Depression.
...Horace Earl Smith II
was born on the south side of Chicago in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Horace Smith began attending the Apostolic Faith Church on a regular basis under the guidance of his grandmother, Alberta Pryor. He became like a son to Bishop and Sister Holly and often sought their wisdom during his walk with Christ. Dr. Horace Smith met the lovely future pharmacist, Susan Marie Davenport, on the Circle Campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was while studying medicine that he received his calling from God that his life would be a conduit for people to know Christ.
1976 Susan and Horace Smith were joined in holy matrimony.
In the Spring of 1980...
...Horace E. Smith, with his wife Susan Davenport Smith
by his side, accepted the responsibility to become the shepherd over the flock at Apostolic Faith Church. He continued the teachings of the elders before him and not only increased membership, but also expanded the church building.
In addition to his appointment as pastor he was also reaching his goal of becoming a pediatric hematologist-oncologist. His tenacious capacity to balance the strenuous demands of family, church, and career astonished many. However, those who understood his spirit had a different perspective—his keen poise was a result of his passionate love and desire to honorably serve God.
God’s purpose for Bishop Smith’s life would catapult him into leadership roles and influential partnerships that revolutionize ministry around the world.