An Exceptional Man:
Reverend Anthony “Tony” Raphael Smith
“Autograph your life with a signature of excellence.” ---Mark F. LaMoure
Anthony Raphael Smith, affectionately known as “Tony,” was born on April 14, 1950, in Bronx, NY, to the blessed union of Herbert and Ameriga (Harris) Smith. The name Anthony means “fortunate,” “happy,” and “highly praiseworthy.” His life was a living testament to the meaning of his name. Loved by family, friends, and colleagues, his Godly love for others guided his life. Raised in Harlem, NY, he attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx where he excelled in basketball, track, and academics. Anthony graduated with a thirst for education and academic achievement. Because of his sheer love of learning, he received numerous degrees, an Associate degree in Applied Science from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College, a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from Long Island University, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Southwestern College, and a Masters of Divinity degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1985 where he also received the preaching award. Anthony graduated with honors from each higher educational institution he attended.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William A. Ward
Gifted with a mathematical mind, Anthony worked as a computer program analyst at J. P. Morgan Chase Bank for many years and retired; however, he realized that his most fulfilling work was to teach children. This career transformation infused him with unbridled energy to instruct and inspire young students to become successful. For the past 18 years, he taught at New Horizons Community Charter School in Newark, NJ, where started as a math coach teacher, was promoted to a basic skills teacher, and was elevated to the head of the school’s Math Department as a math coach who instructed teachers on innovative ways to effectively teach math to students. He was also a district test coordinator and a classroom data analyst. Working with students was his passion. A life-long learner who consistently sought professional development, he attended many conferences and seminars and received many certificates and accolades for his work in teaching mathematics. Anthony was currently enrolled in Montclair State University, taking math supervisory courses in education. Teaching, doing research, writing articles, creating more effective ways to instruct teachers and students online, and working with his colleagues were hallmarks of his dedication to his profession. He was an inspiration to many.
"As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."--- Joshua 24:15
Above all, the foundation of Anthony’s life was his love for the Lord, which nurtured him throughout his life. It was his most defining characteristic. This seed was planted by his grandmother, Ellen Harris, at the tender age of 5 years old in Plymouth, NC. Anthony developed his steadfast commitment to Christ Jesus at the age of 16 at the Soul Saving Station Christ Crusaders of America, Inc. under the pastoral leadership of Bishop Jesse Winley. An anointed missionary and ordained minister, he was a solid man of grace who didn’t just share God’s word with others, but also lived it. Anyone could see God’s goodness in Anthony from the way he treated others, always with kindness and thoughtfulness. His favorite scripture that he lived by was Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” In addition, having a family was equally important to him. Anthony met Joanie Jernigan in 1979 at the Soul Saving Station in Harlem, NY, and chose her to become his wife and life-long partner, primarily because of their shared love of the Lord. They lived in the Bronx, then migrated to Scotch Plains, NJ, where they have lived for the past 30 years. Anthony was a devoted husband whose love for his wife was unwavering. Always working together, their union was unbreakable for 41 years, and they built a strong family, raising two sons in a home governed by God’s word and undergirded with love.
"He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers." Malachi 4:6
Anthony had a special loving bond with his own father, Herbert Smith, throughout his entire life, but one of his proudest accomplishments was creating a strong bond with his sons, Jason and Marcus. It has been said that fatherly love is the act of giving your life for the sake of someone else's needs, and Anthony willingly did this. Not only was he a role model, but he was also their teacher, nurturer, motivator, protector, and friend. They were introduced to God at a young age because their father infused their lives with God’s teaching. They are successful because their father modeled a strong work ethic and success. They know how to love others because of their father’s unconditional love. Together with his wife, Joanie, who walked every step with him, they were dedicated to giving their sons every opportunity to succeed in life. As Proverbs 20:7 states and Anthony’s life demonstrates, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” His two sons will continue to honor the life of their father.
"Do everything in love."-- 1 Corinthians 16:14
Anthony dearly loved his family, friends, and colleagues. His laughter, pleasant personality, wisdom, and easy-going nature drew others to him. Those from his immediate family left to cherish his memory are: A loving and devoted wife, Mrs. Joanie Smith; his oldest son, Dr. Jason Anthony Smith, his wife, Quiana Akilah Smith, and his youngest son, Mr. Marcus Alan Smith; a blessed grandson, Jason Anthony Smith, Jr.; his father, Mr. Herbert Smith, and two sisters, Ms. Derryl Yvonne Smith and Ms. Lynn Marie Smith. A host of cousins and friends will also cherish his memory.
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