Dr. Dennis Edwin Smith died in Galveston, TX, on September 16, 2017. He was born in Conroe, TX, on December 1, 1944, and grew up in Waco, TX, where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Barbara McBride, in 1966. Dennis was a beloved educator, colleague, father, and friend who touched the lives of countless people with his warmth, generosity, and humor.
Dennis received BA and MA degrees from Abilene Christian University, an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a ThD from Harvard University Divinity School. He was an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and taught at Phillips Theological Seminary in Enid and Tulsa, OK, from 1986 to 2015. His groundbreaking scholarship helped lead to a rethinking of the role of meal traditions in the Greco-Roman world and the early Christian movement, and the dating and construction of the Acts of the Apostles. Dennis’ publications include From Symposium to Eucharist (2003) and five volumes of The Storyteller’s Companion to the Bible (1996-2006).
Dennis was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014. He fought his illness bravely for three years, and his participation in chemotherapy drug trials helped advance the study of new medications in the fight against cancer.
Dennis Smith is survived by his wife, Barbara McBride-Smith, his son, Adam McBride-Smith, his daughter-in-law, Pascaline Lefèbvre, his sister, Joy Tatum, his brothers, Jimmy Smith and Travis Smith, and countless family members, friends, students, and colleagues around the world who feel so fortunate to have known him, and to have shared his love of life.