In Memory Of ...
Reger Smith, Adventist Church associate communication director Smith dies at 54
Photographer, musician wrote song for 2005 world session;
coordinated visitor's center design at world headquarters
[photo: Melita Pujic/ANN]
May 8, 2008, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Reger C. Smith Jr., a Seventh-day Adventist musician and designer who served as the world church's Associate Communication Director for Public Relations, died May 8 following a lengthy illness at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was 54.
Smith was also a noted photographer and graphic designer within the Adventist Church, having designed many periodicals, including Message magazine. He was the prime coordinator for the 2003 construction of a visitor's center at the world church headquarters. The self-exploring design of the exhibits -- a timeline of church history, displays telling stories of church leaders and activities, and interactive computer kiosks -- enable visitors to browse at their own pace. More than 7,000 people visit the church complex each year.
Smith spent more than 27 years in service to the Adventist Church, beginning in Battle Creek, Michigan. From 1998 to 2001, he was at the church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown; since 2001, Smith served at the world headquarters.
"In Reger we're losing a colleague, but we're also losing a friend," said Rajmund Dabrowski, communication director for the Adventist world church.
"Reger made the communication team and Adventist communication stronger because of his enormous talent and commitment," Dabrowski said.
A talented musician, composer, arranger and singer, Smith performed with several musical projects, including the church-connected Breath of Life quartet and the Heritage Singers, a contemporary Christian group. Smith was the lyricist for the official song of the church's 2005 world business session, which drew 70,000 people to St. Louis, Missouri. The song, entitled, "Jesus Christ How We Adore You," was designed to portray "Christ's many facets as a provider, mentor, creator and redeemer," Smith told Adventist News Network at the time.
"I wanted the song to be an uplifting praise song and at the same time one of worship and adoration," said Smith in the ANN piece.
"The thing with Reger is, there are many people with musical genius, but there are very few who have musical genius and a totally humble attitude," said J. Alfred Johnson II, Smith's former pastor at the Breath of Life Adventist Church and now a ministries director for the church in North America.
Friends and colleagues remembered him as a dedicated family man who credited his creativity to God. "He was often times amazed at what would come out of his fingers on a keyboard," Johnson said. "He'd say, 'Oh, wow, Lord that was nice wasn't it? You really made some music here today.'"
Smith is survived by his wife, Delores, his two children, two sisters and his parents, Reger and Katherine Smith of Berrien Springs, Michigan. An older sister preceded him in death.
Memorial Service: A memorial service is scheduled for 5 p.m., May 25 at the Adventist Church world headquarters, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600.
*Memorial Fund: In lieu of flowers, donations to the Reger C. Smith, Jr. Memorial Fund may be sent to the Breath of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church, 11310 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744Source: Adventist News Network