Mary A. Smith
Evangelist Mary Alice Pugh-Smith was born in Scotland Neck, North Carolina on June 18, 1934 to Raleigh B. Pugh and Lillian Jones. Mary was raised by her beloved grandma, Gertrude Jones-Hawkins (“Gert”), and grandpa, James Hawkins (“Hawk”) in Weldon, North Carolina. Mary was affectionately known by many as Dinah, a nickname given to her by her Uncle Collins after the famous singer Dinah Washington. She attended Halifax training school while in Weldon through eleventh grade, after which she began working various jobs.
Mary eventually made her way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she met and married her first husband, Charles Jordon. She later became the mother of 4 children, Steven, Carmen, David and Julian Jordon. While in Philadelphia, Mary graduated from Cartier Beauty School as a beautician in the 50’s and worked in a hair salon. She also attended Settlement Music School where she completed one year of piano lessons. It was in the 70’s when Mary found the Lord, and at Mother Mary Lucy’s house she rededicated her life to Jesus Christ in 1975. In 1977, she married the late Sicero Smith with whom she had a self-described beautiful life.
As time passed, Mary decided to finish her high school education, and she obtained her General Education Diploma in 1983. She joined her adored Peniel Baptist Church in 1990, and spent the rest of her years as a dedicated member and leader of the church. Mary’s path led her to attend the Philadelphia College of Bible where she graduated with her degree in 1994, after which she became an Evangelist. She also became the first ordained woman in the history of her church, and built her home and life in close proximity to it on Oxford Street.
Mary worked in the Chaplain Department at the Medical College of Pennsylvania for 13 years, spent time ordaining in the Philadelphia prison system, and held open bible study in her home for over 13 years. She also spent a significant number of years of her career in customer service at the Philadelphia Gas Works, where several of her family members followed.
Mary was a grandmother who loved her grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as she would host them for weekends in her home with “Mr. Smith” and would take them on trips to North Carolina during the summers. Mary also remained connected with her family in Weldon, NC and was known for taking solo drives to visit her Uncle Collins, affectionately known as “Uncle Bro”. She was an avid learner of God’s word, and could recite the appropriate Bible scripture for any occasion, whenever called upon. Even as she aged, Mary took pride in her appearance and her ability to drive to handle her own business. She loved Jazz music, especially of the one horn or one drum type, and also favored Gospel songs. Mary would take great honor in naming all 12 of her great grandchildren, and had a host of spiritual children whom she adored as if they were her own.
Mary is preceded in death by her husband Sicero, her brother Collins (Deborah), her 3 children, Steve, Carmen, and David, and her grandson, Ronnie. To cherish her life she leaves her son, Julian (Cynthia), her 5 grandchildren Janea (Curt), Darron (Dominique), Alishia (Nakir), Christen and Julian Jr., 12 great grandchildren, Nazir, Sayvion, Jaissan, Bliss, Jadir, Zayd, Zarin, Ziya, Grant, Chance, Cali, and Christen “CJ” Jr, sisters Brenda and Trudy (Milt), brothers Lanier (Cassandra) and Bradley “Spoon”, her nieces, nephews, a host of relatives, friends, and her spiritual children, Pat, Stan, Cynthia, Fred and Sam.
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