Birthdays on February 6
Charles Keed Smith was born at Morristown, New Jersey, the third of seven children. A doctor of osteopathic medicine, he was not converted until he had moved his thriving practice from Elmira, N.Y. to neighboring Breesport. After careful Bible study he began to accept leadership roles in the church in addition to his growing practice. He was recognized among his peers for excellence as a diagnostician, among his churchmen for his wisdom and leadership, and in the community as a friend. In the early 1960s, at the recommendation of his friend Rev. Daniel Gelatt, then pastor of the Horseheads, N.Y., First Baptist Church, he was asked to teach a course in personal and public health for prospective missionaries at the Baptist Bible Seminary. To enhance his understanding of the needs of his students, Dr. Smith attended a seminar for missionary appointees. He was stirred by the reports of active missionaries, and felt called to go to Liberia, West Africa, as a medical missionary, even though he was now over 50. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Smith closed his practice, and he and his wife accepted a post at the leprosarium and dispensary at Yila, about 150 miles inland from Monrovia. Later he established a medical facility at a missionary retirement village in southeast Missouri where he continued until ill health forced his retirment in 1989.