Centennial Faith Lecture
During this lecture, we celebrated the spiritual leaders who have helped Houston Methodist establish and maintain a faith component of the healing process. We honored all faith leaders who have served our hospital over the past 100 years, including our marquee honorees Bess and Bishop A. Frank Smith.
They not only had a profound influence on our faith-based culture, but both also served on the Houston Methodist Hospital Board of Directors. Bishop A. Frank Smith was a guiding force for Houston Methodist for more than 40 years. He was a distinguished man of integrity, devotion and tremendous vision. His involvement in the life of the hospital proved transformational. Bess Smith was “first lady” of the Texas Annual Conference during her husband’s service. She was known and loved by her many friends and family as a woman of compassion, abiding faith and deep devotion to helping others.
Bess and Bishop Smith had a great interest in children. One of the first things the Smiths did upon their arrival in Houston was to create a volunteer group of women called the Blue Bird Circle, which took its name from the bluebird as a symbol of happiness. In 1934, the Blue Bird Hospital for underprivileged children opened as a separate 30-bed building on the Methodist Hospital grounds.
The Smiths passed their commitment to the hospital to their sons, A. Frank Jr. and William Randolph "Randy." Both served on the Houston Methodist Board of Directors for more than 30 years, with Frank becoming chairman from 1977 to 1991. Together, parents and sons collectively served the hospital’s board for 94 years.