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Grieving the Loss of our Brother in Christ

Dearest church,

It is with a very heavy heart that we write to you today about the loss of our dear brother Ronnie Smith. Ronnie was shot and killed in Benghazi while going for a morning jog. We don’t fully understand the motives of his attackers. He had been teaching chemistry at the International School Benghazi in Libya for the last year and a half.

Before moving to Benghazi, Ronnie was a member of the church staff at the Austin Stone. Ronnie, his wife Anita, and his son are dearly loved by our church family; many of us knew Ronnie and his family well. Ronnie and his family were planning to spend time before Christmas with us here in Austin. Anita and their son had returned to the U.S. and are safe with family. Ronnie, out of a sense of dedication, had stayed in Libya to be with his students through their midterm exams.

Ronnie and his family moved to Benghazi to teach high school chemistry and to be a blessing to the Libyan people. Ronnie loved Libya and was dedicated to his students to help them aspire to their dreams. Ronnie’s greatest desire was for peace and prosperity in Libya and for the people of Libya to have the joy of knowing God through Christ.

Ronnie was a brother in Christ and a faithful servant of this church for many years. Although we grieve because we have lost a friend, a husband, and a father, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has a greater purpose than we can imagine right now. Though we don’t fully understand right now, we place our full trust in the one who does until we see our friend again.

For right now, we ask you to:

  • Pray for Anita, Hosea, and the rest of Anita and Ronnie’s family
  • Grieve for the loss of our brother with the hope of Christ
  • Trust that God’s will is perfect and His purposes are good

The Austin Stone will be assisting Ronnie's wife, Anita, financially. If you would like to make a gift in memory of Ronnie Smith, please follow this link.

Proceeds from the sale of The History of Redemption, an illustrated collection of scriptures edited by Ronnie Smith, will support the Smith family. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Media info linked here.

Additional questions can be directed to Dave Barrett, our Executive Pastor (dave@austinstone.org).