Wilbur K. and Grace Buyers Smith - 1995 A Award Recipients
Bio from 1995:
Born to missionary parents in Brazil, both Wilbur and Grace attended Bethel Academy and Asbury College. Wilbur continued his studies at the University of Kentucky and Emory’s Candler School of Theology. In 1938, they were married and immediately went to Brazil where they served for 40 years with the Methodist Church.
From small town to urban center, the Smith team touched the lives of thousands of Brazilians. Under his leadership as pastor, district superintendent and general secretary schools were organized, churches planted, medical facilities constructed, and a “model home” for the elderly in Brazil was established. In 1955, this Asburian was appointed president of Union College in Uruguayana, Brazil.
In 1965, Wilbur was elected bishop in Brazil and turned his full attention to evangelism and church planting. Bishop and Mrs. Smith encouraged the pastors and their wives to give spiritual leadership in the local churches. Mrs. Smith organized women’s groups and inspired the development of youth programs in Brazilian churches.
Now retired in Florida, Bishop and Mrs. Wilbur Smith continue to mobilize the United Methodist Church for support of the Brazilian Church. It is indeed appropriate to honor this couple with the distinguished Alumni Award of Asbury College.