AUSTIN, Texas -- Sunday was an emotional day at Austin Stone Community Church, as the congregation reflected on the life of Ronnie Smith, a former staff member who died while living overseas in Benghazi, Libya.
Smith moved there with his wife, Anita, and their young son to teach chemistry at the International School of Benghazi and make a difference in the lives of students. He graduated from the University of Texas with a masters degree in chemistry.
"People at the Austin Stone missed him from the day he left and knew he was following a dream and a passion," said Dave Barrett, executive pastor of operations at Austin Stone.
Barrett said Smith overcame any fear of living in a dangerous place because he was so passionate about education.
"Everyone who sat under his teaching were moved and instructed and inspired by what he had to say," said Barrett.
At service Sunday, Austin Stone played video from a sermon Smith gave in November 2010. In it, he taught various scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death and no longer be any mourning, crying or pain," said Smith during the sermon, quoting from Revelation.
Austin Stone Community Church is supporting Smith's wife and son financially. If you want to help, you can make a donation here or purchase a book Smith was part of called, "The History of Redemption." All of the proceeds benefit his family.