Personalities Plus — Frank Smith

Frank Smith has lived in Portales since 1972. He retired from his job in deliveries at the former Poynor’s Home and Auto Store in 2001 and is full time pastor of First Spanish Baptist Church. Preaching has become his life, and he does it in both English and Spanish. Smith spends his free time reading the Bible. He enjoys piecing together puzzles and spending time with his family.

Name: Frank Smith
Job: Pastor of First Spanish Baptist Church
Age: 76
Hometown: Truchas
Family: Wife, Diana; two sons, Franklin and his wife, Marea; and Jonathan and his wife, Tessa, and three grandchildren, Bailey, Emma and Naaman.

What do you think of Portales: “It’s a good little town. I like the friendliness of people here. If you want to be treated friendly, you have got to be friendly.”

What do you visualize your life being like in 10 years: “I don’t imagine being here in 10 years, but it’s going to be glorious where I am going.”

Tell us about your parents: “My mom died in 1937, so I was only 11, but I remember her being a hard worker and never getting mad. She was always loving to us kids. I am one of nine children. My dad spent most of his time working with horses. He was a good man. I never knew him to drink at all.”

Who is your hero, and why: “Jesus, because he died for me, and I’m saying that from the heart.”

What is your greatest hope: “That the Lord’s coming pretty quick!”

If money were no object, what would you do to make the world a better place: “I’d put it into a mission to do good for others.”

Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment: “It was graduating from high school at the age of 31. I got a diploma from Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy in Seymour, Tenn. I joined the Navy at age 15 and never finished school until then.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult: “I wanted to be an engineer. I took a G.I. course after the Navy, but in the class, all I ended up learning how to do was to weave rugs.”

If I could do anything, I would: “Learn to play the piano. I love music.”

Tell us about a happy time: “The day I got married. It was on Aug. 5, 1972, at First Baptist Church here in Portales. We’ve been married 31 years.”

What’s your favorite TV shows, past and present: “Past would be ‘The Red Skelton Show’ and present is “The 700 Club.’”

What’s your favorite smell: “Mexican food, especially chile.”

What would you like printed on your gravestone: “He’s not here. He’s risen!”

What’s your theme song: “Amazing Grace.”

What’s your idea of a perfect day: “To just be so happy that I think I’m floating in the air.”

What do you like about your job: “That I meet new people, do new things and I’m still preaching. I feel joyous inside. I’ve seen a lot of people saved. I couldn’t tell you how many.”

Tell us how you met your spouse: “We both went to the same church. I was pastor at a church in Lingo, and in the afternoons when we had no services, I’d come here to First Spanish Baptist. Diana was the pianist there. I think it was love at first sight.”

Tell us a funny story that happened when you were growing up: “We lived in Santa Fe and had the privilege to go to Truchas for the summer. I was the older of the three boys, so what I said went. We had chickens and loved to pick on them. One day, we decided to chase them to the barn. The biggest of the chickens was too slow. I had a wooden mallet and decided to ride the chicken to the barn. It traveled too slow so I decided to use the mallet on the chicken to help it along. I did this until it would go no further. By the time my grandfather found the chicken, it was dead. He threatened to hurt whoever did this to his chicken but we never told. I feel guilty to this day.”

– Compiled by Helena Rodriguez