Salvation Army legend passes

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – The face of the Salvation Army in Birmingham has passed away. 96-year-old Brigadier Luther Smith passed away on February 9th after battling pneumonia.

Smith worked with the Salvation Army for over 70 years. He was ordained and commissioned by the Salvation Army in 1936 and led the Birmingham Area Command from 1971-1979. He served as president of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club during the time that it was the largest club in the country.

As a founding member of the Birmingham Race Relations Committee, Smith did what he felt was right even when it was very unpopular. Smith even opened the doors to the Corps to let the Freedom Riders sleep during a tour through Birmingham.

For his service, Smith received "The Exceptional Service Award", "The William Booth Award" and the prestigious "Order of the Founder Award."

Working three days a week during his 90's, Smith maintained his pace. He only recently set aside his hobbies of flying airplanes and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Smith is survived by his wife Esther and son Robert.

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