Bishop Francis Leonard Smith
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
1915 ~ 1995
Bishop Francis L. Smith was born December 18, 1915 to Helen and Samuel Balsamo in a small town called Ironspot, Ohio. He along with his sister were reared by his grandparents, the late Henry and Mary Smith, who later adopted little Francis, thus giving him the name Smith. Francis attended elementary school in Ironspot and high school in Roseville, Ohio where he graduated in June 1934.
Francis' grandparents were both Methodist ministers and he was taught at an early age to love and obey God. After joining the Methodist Church and serving faithfully in several capacities, the longing of his soul somehow was not filled. In August of 1933, he was attending a convention in Columbus, Ohio which was being held at the church pastored by his uncle, the late Bishop Karl F. Smith. As the message went forth and the call to discipleship was given, he yeilded his heart to God, and was filled with the Holy Ghost, and afterward was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.
In September 1934, Francis met a young lady from Lynchburg, Virginia who had come to Columbus to attend College. Her name was Natalie Hubbard. They began dating and a beautiful friendship ensued which blossomed into marriage in August 1936. After a short stint as pastor in Springfield, Ohio, on September 10, 1951, Elder Smith was installed as the pastor of the First Apostolic Church in Akron, Ohio. For over (40) years Bishop Smith provided powerful, spiritual leadership to this congrgation.
In 1972, District elder Smith was elevated to the Bishopric of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Two years later he became the Presiding Bishop of the organization serving two (2) three year terms. His diocese was the Southern Tri-State Council of Mississippi, Alabama and West Tennessee. In 1989, Bishop Smith was assigned to the Third Episcopal Diocese of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, his home state of Ohio. Bishop Smith carried a sincere burden for the welfare of all Ohio pastors and congrgations and as Diocesan was accessible to his people. On October 10, 1995 Bishop Francis L. Smith departed this life. After faithfully serving his generation by the will of God, he fell on sleep. Audio and Video recordings of Bishop Francis Smith are available in our audio/video library.