THE REV. WILLIAM AUSTIN SMITH, D. D.
The wardens and vestrymen of Christ Church first heard the Rev. William Austin Smith preach at Trinity Church, Hartford, Connecticut. They at once paid him the deserved compliment of extending to him a call to become their rector. Mr. Smith had never preached in Springfield although he was a personal friend of Dr. Slattery and had visited him at the rectory, here. In fact, it was Mr. Smith who, a few years before, suggested that Dr. Slattery be called as rector of Christ Church.
Mr. Smith was graduated from Harvard University with the degree of A.B. in the class of 1895, and from Seabury Divinity School with the degree of B.D. in 1898. He was made deacon by Bishop Gilbert and ordained priest by Bishop McVicker in 1899. For three years (1899-1903) he served as assistant minister of St. John's Church, Providence, Rhode Island; and then for eight years was rector of the largest Episcopal Church of Wisconsin--St. Paul's, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Among his other duties he was elected president of the Standing Committee of the Milwaukee diocese, a position he filled to everyone's satisfaction. Ill health compelled him to resign, and he and his family spent one restful year abroad. He returned invigorated and strengthened for the new work to which he was called in Springfield.
During Mr. Smith's rectorship a secretary was added to the clerical staff. Mrs. Annie H. Brown assumed this position.
Mr. Smith found Christ Church in a very flourishing condition. During Dr. Slattery's rectorship the church buildings had been either renovated or rebuilt. The church was free from debt, the membership increasing, the activities of the
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