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F.O.R. Memorials: Sam Smith

Fellowship; New York Vol. 79, Iss. 7-12,  (Autumn 2015): 46.

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Interviewed at the Cornerstone Christian Rock Festival in 2012, Reverend Sam Smith explained why he was actively representing FOR's "I Will Not Kill" campaign.

"The Lord I serve is the cause of peace," he said. "As a person of peace you are going to be setting an example in the way you live and the way you make friends. "

In his ministry and his service to FOR, Sam was a shining example of someone who served the cause of peace. His death, on December 11, 2014, at the age of 64, came as a shock to his many friends at FOR and is an immeasurable loss for the peace movement.

A Brethren minister, multimedia artist, and FOR leader in countless capacities, Sam was a creative and pastoral grassroots activist who advocated passionately for young people and against militarism and war.

At the local level, he was convener of the Chicago FOR chapter, which played a key role hosting events related to the Ferguson Movement and Latin America solidarity. Working with several churches in the greater Chicago region, he helped the West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition become a formal affiliate group of FOR. He also assisted with DePaul University's service learning program, encouraging undergraduate students to identify social justice-centered learning opportunities that fulfilled their academic requirements.

Sam was a member of FOR-USA's National Council (NC) for most of the past decade, and often brought his teenage children with him to NC meetings. A very active member of FOR's Centennial planning committee at the time of his death, he was chairing a subcommittee working on two national conferences to be held in mid-2016.

Well known for his counter-recruitment activism in response to US Armed Forces recruitment efforts, Sam joined the steering committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth...