Jacksonville College helped the Daily Progress collect testimonies from those who knew and loved Mt. Selman Baptist Church pastor, Bro. Harold Small, who died Jan. 9 at the age of 71. So many were received that they could not all fit in last week’s Religion Section. Here are more thoughts on Bro. Small.

My first encounter with Harold Small was in 1968. He was to be the instructor for a class I had signed up for at Jacksonville College that fall. It was his first semester on campus and an ‘unknown quantity’ to the students who signed up for his class. But within the first few class sessions, all my fears were erased about this new instructor. I found Harold Small to be a kind and compassionate Christian gentleman, as well as an informed and knowledgeable instructor.

He was the kind of teacher who put you at ease, while at the same time prompting you to do more and to strive to accomplish more in his class than you thought possible.

Through the years of our association, Harold Small remained that kind and compassionate Christian gentleman. Each time I had the opportunity to meet with him ... whether it was a brief encounter ... or an extended visit ... I considered the time to be well spent and enjoyable. Harold Small always put you at ease with his smile and his laughter and made you feel that he too, was enjoying the visit and the time of fellowship.

It has been several years now since I had the privilege to visit or to speak with him, but I shall miss him here on this earth. Yet, I know that there will come a time when we can sit down together in heavenly places and pick up where we left off.

— James Salisbury,

Odessa, Texas

We will always remember his sweet smile. We will miss him coming into the library for a visit.

— Carolyn Wheeler, Jacksonville College Library Director, and Vicki Pryor and Neatha Cagle, library assistants

Bro. Small was first our English teacher and later our pastor and friend. In class he posed questions that would make you think and helped you to reason things out. Later as a pastor his messages would hit home with the truths of God’s Word. As visiting missionaries at the church, he became our prayerful supporter and friend.

We never heard Bro. Small say an unkind word about anyone. It seemed he wanted to always be an encourager. Although he was soft spoken, he was not shy about speaking to others about their spiritual needs. We remember being impressed by his love for people that were not in church when he started a class using the book Search for Significance and invited people in the community that were not attending church or even members of his church.

We had the opportunity to join him for his last trip to England, but circumstances did not allow it, and now certainly regret it. We know that his love for literature and for the Lord would have made it a memorable experience.

— Joe and Belinda Caudle,

former students,

congregation members

Harold Small was truly a friend to all who knew him. Very few possess the level of compassion, wisdom, and integrity that were so evident in his life. It was my privilege to claim Harold as my mentor while growing up in Fairfield, Texas, then again at Jacksonville College where we served on staff together.

— John F. (Buddy) Aultman,


Thanks for letting me know about Bro. Small. I always enjoyed his class and seeing him last year in October at a restaurant was great. Bro. Small was a kind man, and he will be missed.

— Bobbie Masters, Cadenhead

It was my pleasure to teach with Brother Harold Small for 25 years — all without any disagreements. He was always very pleasant, even while working on difficult committee assignments for accreditation.

Brother Small willingly participated in extra-curricular work in addition to his teaching assignments. In the classroom and out, Brother Small was a good example in dress as well as actions. He will be greatly missed.

— Juanita McMahan,

Retired JBC business instructor

There were two elements of my upbringing that gave me acceptable writing skills. One was my early education in our home school and my parents’ and grandparents’ modeling of correct grammar in daily conversation. The other was Bro. Harold Small’s thorough teaching and strictness in grading in the classes he taught at Jacksonville Baptist College.

In addition to teaching me to write at the college level, Bro. Small also opened my eyes to the realities of secular higher education. He posed the tough philosophical questions in class and made us research humanistic ideologies. We knew he was a Baptist preacher and believed certain things. But he would not give us the answers. He made us search out answers and present them to the class.

Those class discussions and the discoveries he led us to would later fortify us for going on to secular universities where we would be exposed to atheist professors and worldly rationales. Bro. Harold’s influence came at a strategic, crucial time in the lives of so many young Christian students. His faithfulness semester after semester is a testament of his love for God and us.

May God bless Anita and her family and continue to bless future generations through their godly influence.

— Mark Holcombe,

JC alumnus and editor of Editorial Bautista

Harold Small was one of those people that everyone loved. At Jacksonville College, he not only taught his students English literature, but he taught us how to live and enjoy life in the present and how to prepare for the future.

His zest for life was contagious. My husband Steve and I went on a trip to the Holy Land a few years ago led by Brother Small, and we will always cherish those memories. We visited him in the hospital on Sunday and he wanted to know about us and how we were doing...typical of Harold Small....caring for others.

— Lu Bearden Wegmet,

former student

Our hearts were saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved professor, friend and brother in Christ, Bro. Harold Small. Bro. Small was a wonderful teacher and had such an impact on the lives of so many! Those of us who were blessed to sit in his classes have so many fond memories of the unique ways he had of making learning enjoyable.

We never remember seeing Bro. Small angry or even “ruffled,” although some did not have learning as their top priority. Rather, he usually had a big smile on his face and a certain twinkle in his eye that made you wonder what he had in store for us that day.

We will miss Bro. Small, but by the fruits of his life and his dedicated testimony, we know that we will see him again and will spend an eternity praising our Lord together.

— A. Gene and Maryjane Arrington Mathis,

Pastor Bauman Road Missionary Baptist Church of Houston

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