FORT OGLETHORPE — U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, and his wife Angie were members of First Baptist Church for a barely a year, but had grown in involvement through a home Bible study and their daughters’ participation in children’s ministries, says Pastor Jason Thomas.
“They were a young family who were very faithful to a small group being led by our discipleship pastor, Andy Atkinson,” said Thomas. “The gatherings were a great example of God building relationships through meeting together.”
A memorial and tribute is slated to be held at First Baptist tomorrow at 2 p.m. for Smith, who died July 18 after fighting injuries suffered two days earlier from shootings in Chattanooga at two separate military recruitment centers. Following the service, another tribute will be held at the Chattanooga National Cemetery at 4 p.m.
Others killed in the shootings were Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, a two-time Purple Heart recipient from Hampden, Mass.; Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, of Polk, Wis.; and Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, N.C. Smith and Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, were both active members of Georgia Baptist churches. Wells, who was part of the orchestra at First Baptist Woodstock, was buried last week.
Originally of Paulding, Ohio, Smith was responsible for the training and transportation of active duty Naval personnel at the Naval Operations Support Center in Chattanooga. His intentions were to retire from the Navy, but he was also working on a degree in hospital administration and recently appeared on the Dean’s List at Ashford University.
In addition to his involvement in First Baptist’s LifeGROUPS ministry, Smith served as a volunteer for various charities including Stuff the Truck, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, cancer awareness, and by providing rescue assistance during Hurricane Sandy. During Christmas he helped coordinate events for military families and donated Easter baskets for hospitalized children.
Preceding him in death were his grandparents Hiram and Catherin Smith, noted in his obituary at Heritage Funeral Home, Fort Oglethorpe, as “very influential in his life as they were his primary caregivers.” Hiram Smith had served as a U.S. Army Korean War veteran. In addition to his wife, Randall Smith is survived by three daughters, his parents, and a sister.