Reverend Royal Bence “Bud” Smythe

August 27, 1934 ‒ July 31, 2020

Bellville, Ohio

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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  • Murial and family,
    My heart goes out to you that you had to say goodbye. Bud sounds like he was an amazing man. I wish I would have had opportunity to come to know him. What a blessed promise to know one day you will be reunited. Until then, may the God of all comfort sustain you. You are loved and prayed for.
    Linda Hager

  • Dear Muriel and family, please know that Eddie and I are praying for you as you adjust to Bud’s earthly absence…yet Praise God!, he is now present with the Lord. I have such fond memories of working over the cubical wall from him and have heard him direct people in the paths of righteousness many, many times. Perhaps most memorable to me, are the times that he related the antics of the Country Parson. Asking Holy Spirit to hold you close. Expecting to see my friend again someday in Glory.
    Ellen Norris – (co-worker at Samaritan’s Purse)

  • Muriel and family,

    May the Lord comfort you and give you His perfect peace during this time and always.

    You are Bud have always been so special to Buddy and me. We still have the sweet memory of our pontoon picnic trip at Watauga Lake with our beloved sisters in Christ, Jane Smith and Barb Shroeder, who are also in His presence now. Oh what a time they must be having with our Lord!

    I know Bud will be sorely missed, but I also know that you look forward to the day you will reunite in Glory! Hallelujah, Praise God!

    We love you,

    Buddy and Julie (Jules) Game

  • We will miss him for sure. He def changed the way my kids look at the size of an ice cream serving! And I always appreciated his love for Bella (our black lab). He would have loved Candy! I loved the way he called Gma Smythe “Murray” – such a sweet display of affection.
    We are praying for all of you- this has been such a difficult time and we are truly thankful that God is in control.
    We Love you all Smythe clan.
    Mark, Becky, Drew, Levi and Lily Steensland

  • What a beautiful legacy this sweet man leaves behind, I didn’t know Bud but for a short time , but he was always so kind and and I loved his humor. I know he will be missed by many, especially Muriel, but the suffering is over and oh what a happy day in heaven for him. Love and prayers to this wonderful family.

  • Our sincerest condolences to the family.
    He holds a very special place in our hearts and will be sorely missed. I enjoyed listening to his sermons and have many fond memories with him and his lovely family.
    We will be praying for all of you.

  • Jeanne and I will always remember Bud as a clear truthful and always humorous man of God. We never had as much fun with any other Pastor and his family. Our children love you both. We think of You often and hope You feel our Prayers.

  • Muriel and family:
    Our sincere and deep condolences for the loss of dear Bud. He was a true man of God who didn’t just teach the word, he lived the gospel. The missions trip to the Dominican Republic with you guys is still one of the standing stones of remembrance in our lives. And of course going into the enemy territory of Yankee Stadium with you to cheer on our O’s was priceless. May you find peace and comfort in your time of loss knowing that he is experiencing true joy with his Savior.
    With love,
    Brian and Cheryl Wagaman

  • Mrs. Smythe, Laurie, Jeff, Danny, and Joel–I have happy, tender memories of visits to your home and to the church your dad pastored in Boone. I sometimes wished that Alliance were my congregation, partly because of my friendships with you but also because your dad was such an effective and caring pastor-teacher. Even as I mourn his departure from your earthly lives, I rejoice for you in the legacy God has provided through him. May you sense Jesus’ tender care for you now that your earthly father has gone to be with the Father you all share.

  • I am so very sad to see this. I have very fond memories of him and Grandma Smythe in Southwest VA for many years. I’m so sorry. Much love to the whole Smythe clan.

  • Dear Muriel, we are so sorry for your loss but very happy we were able to get to know Bud. He was a wonderful person and we too will miss him. May God bless and comfort you.
    Love,
    George and Sharrol Hensley.

  • Praying for each of you in this time of great loss. I will dearly miss my coworker, friend and brother in Christ. I enjoyed working with Bud over the years and in the last few years working even more closely with him. He was a true example of a great man of God.

  • Dear Muriel, Danny, Laurie, Jeff, and Joel,

    We just today heard about Bud. We want you to know that we wish you God’s grace, comfort and peace as you navigate the world without Bud. We loved him (and all of you). We have such special memories of all of you in Athens and in Boone. Bud was such a gifted teacher of the word and we learned so much from him. We treasure our time under his ministry. God has said to him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

  • TO MURRIE AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY I EXTEND MY PRAYERS OF THANKS= GIVING FOR BUD AND PRAYERS FOR COMFORT AND PEACE FOR YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY. FOR MANY YEARS BUD AND I WERE BEST FRIENDS! WE STUDIED TOGETHER, PLAYED SPORTS TOGETHER, TRAVELED TOGETHER AND THOROUGHLY ENJOYED RUNNING ON THE ROCKS BY THE OCEAN IN MAGNOLIA, MASSACHUSETTS. BUD WAS A VERY GOOD STUDENT WITH A MIND THAT CHALLENGED EVERYONE WHO MET HIM. HE CERTAINLY SURPASSED ME IN EVERY WAY! WE MET AT SUMMIT GROVE CAMP GROUNDS IN SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA, DURING THE LATE 1940’S AND CONTINUED OUR RELATIONSHIP UNTIL WE GRADUATED FROM GORDON CONWELL SEMINARY IN 1961. OUR LIVES WERE GEOGRAPHICALLY SEPARATED DUE TO OUR VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN PASTORAL MINISTRY, BUT OUR FRIENDSHIP CONTINUED OVER ALL THESE YEARS. THE LAST TIME I WAS WITH BUD IN THE SUMMER OF 2017, WE CONNECTED LIKE WE HAD NEVER BEEN APART. BUD WAS A TRUE BELIEVER AND WHEN I ASKED HIM ABOUT HIS SUCCESSFUL MINISTRY IN BOONE HE SIMPLY RESPONDED THAT IT WAS DIRECTLY RELATED TO PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD. I WILL MISS BUD VERY MUCH!

  • Bud was great witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a good man. As we wait for the day we will all be together in Heaven. God be with Muriel and family . Love from Douglas Mark Center

  • I send my deepest condolence to you and your family during this time. The loss of someone dear to us is never easy. I hope all the cherished memories that you have of Bud brings you comfort. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Love from your Cousin, Shirley (Merchant) Geier Peace be with you

  • In January of 1979, I was desperate to find a church. When I walked into ABF I saw a banner with Matthew 28:18-20. I also smelled the pizza cooking downstairs. I knew this would be my home. I am so thankful for Bud’s influence over me through his biblical focus and teaching. I invited Campus Crusade for Christ friends to it as well. Praying for your family.