Eddie Smith was impossible to miss when he was in a class. His energy, craziness and active participation made all his professors look forward to him. He was a fantastic note-taker. I remember one time his note-taking got him in trouble with Bud Bence. Dr. Bence noticed that one of his 7:50 classes had simply “gone dead.” Students seemed glazed over and few even took any notes. They listened but when he said something obviously important nobody wrote it down. It shook Bence—he thought maybe he had lost his magical touch. Then he discovered that Eddie Smith was taking perfect notes each day and emailing them to the rest of the class. Upon getting the notes the rest of the class realized they’d never be able to capture Bence as well as Eddie did so they just checked out and waited for their email from Eddie. (I think Bence talked him out of that, but if I recall correctly he persuaded Eddie to give HIM a copy of the notes—who knows, maybe he’s using Eddie’s notes now in his lectures!
Eddie graduated in 2001 and began his ministry as a sort of intern at the Wesleyan Headquarters in the Evangelism & Church Growth department under (now a General Superintendent) Jerry Pence. Then he spent two years as the youth pastor at Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church in North Carolina before moving to IWU’s sister school, Southern Wesleyan University where he has worked in admissions since 2004. I’ve always sort of seen Eddie as a church planter—he has just the sort of personality that attracts people and he has always been able to “call out” people, which is why he’s been good at admissions I bet. It has been nine years since Eddie graduated and every one of his profs still remember him well. That’s saying something—after all since Eddie graduated from IWU we have had more than a thousand students pass through the Religion Division (now “School of Theology and Ministry”). But if you know Eddie that’s not hard to imagine. Eddie we are all proud of you!
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NIV)