He sang before thousands at crusades and conventions. He sang before a dozen or so at nursing homes and parks. They stayed in fine hotels and beautiful homes, and in their trailer parked on some church parking lot. He teamed with the great preachers of his generation, in revivals, large and small. He also labored with preachers not so famous or well-known....like me. Fritz and Shirley Smith led in revival music at First Baptist, Taft, Texas each year in the ten years I was pastor. He also sang at James and Laura Duprie's wedding. I even sang a duet or two with Fritz. I followed him at Calvary Baptist, Lufkin as music-education minister. Later he would serve the First Baptist Church, San Antonio. Most of his years were given to music evangelism. Gripping his little New Testament he would deliver the message of salvation through song. Today Fritz is singing with the angels. He has gone to be with the Lord he loved and served so faithfully and well. Our prayers are with Shirley and the family. She was a vital part of his ministry at the piano and making friends wherever they went; on tours or in churches.
A music box played a song, played it long ago;
A simple tune to sing a-long, Jesus loves me, this I know
I still can hear children sing, eyes all bright, a-glow,
And in my heart it's echoing, Jesus loves me, this I know.
This I know, this I know. Jesus loves me, this one thing I know.
The tune was written for the children, but the words won't let me go.
The un-ending love of Jesus this I know.
I know it in springtime when everything is new;
I know it in the summer, God's love is ever true.
I know when autumn changes things, when winter's cold is near,
And when my journey is complete, I know what I will hear,
Around the throne the sound of praise starts to swell and grow.
The heavenly hosts their anthems raise,
Jesus loves me! This I know!
Ray Hatton (sung by Fritz Smith)