Reverend Royal Bence “Bud” Smythe
August 27, 1934 ‒ July 31, 2020
The Reverend Royal Bence “Bud” Smythe, 85, passed away at Country Meadow Care Center of Belleville, Ohio, on July 31, 2020.
Pastor Smythe was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Royal Simpson Smythe and Helen (Hawkins) Smythe. Bud spent his early years in Middle River, Maryland. In 1956, he graduated from Houghton College in New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. Three years later, he married Muriel Cunningham of Ballston Spa, New York. In 1961, he completed his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts, and he received his first pastoral appointment in Birmingham, Alabama, for the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Since that time, Bud served as pastor of churches in Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey. He was the first pastor of the Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone, NC, and he was on staff with Samaritan’s Purse for twenty years. In all, Pastor Smythe was in Christian ministry for 59 years.
As a minister, Bud was known as being steady and wise in character, living out his true faith in Christ through his love for others and his involvement in the community. Those who heard him preach respected him for his clear way of teaching the Bible because it made a lasting impact on their lives. His responsible leadership and kindness in service drew people to him and helped them to grow spiritually. Bud’s commitment to the Gospel message gave him opportunities to preach overseas on short-term mission trips, giving vital support to international churches and their leaders. He would have considered his greatest achievement in ministry to be leading friends and family to become authentic followers of Christ.
His family will cherish him as a great husband and father, always caring, easy to be around, and ready for a hug. He never missed an opportunity to say “I love you.” Talking about his sermons, singing with him, and praying together meant so much. Favorite memories include road trips to interesting places, camping, hiking, and bird-watching. His boys loved having their dad as their coach when they were in little league, being at an opening day for a baseball game, and working side-by-side in the yard. Bud loved laughter, and he was always ready with a joke or a silly face. Anyone who got to know Bud soon found out that his favorite things were the Baltimore Orioles, model trains, Labrador Retrievers, and ice cream.
This man fulfilled his life calling as a pastor of the church and as the patriarch of his family. His memory will endure in the lives that were changed by his life. His family takes comfort in knowing that he is forever free from all pain and suffering. Bud is now in the presence of the Savior he adored and served for so many years, having heard these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Muriel (Cunningham) Smythe; his children, Laurel (Smythe) Patton and her husband Casey, Royal Jeffrey Smythe and his wife Pamela (Kopp), Daniel Ross Smythe and his wife Kimberly (LaCelle), and Joel Richard Smythe and his wife Lisa (Sipes); his 22 grandchildren; and his 16 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Helen (Smythe) Follette.
A memorial service for Pastor Smythe will be held in Boone, NC, on September 5, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Alliance Bible Fellowship, 1035 North Carolina Hwy 105 Bypass. The family will receive visitors at the church from 1:00 p.m. that afternoon until the memorial service begins. During the summer of 2021, there will be a private burial service for family members in Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.
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