Page 16 – Autobiography – Benjamin Lafayette Smith
At the battle of Franklin Tenn on the 30th of November 1864, about sunset I received
a gunshot which broke my thigh. I fell face forward, about 100 yards from the Federal
breastworks in range of two batteries, each attempting to dislodge the other From the time I
fell until the battle ended, I prayed continuously to the Lord if he would save me, I would
earnestly try to be a christian the balance of my life. I was to careless and indifferent about
this promise. I put off making another effort to become a Christian until 1886. In that
summer I was converted and joined the M. E. Church South while Rev. R. G. Kilgore was
pastor at West Point and under the preaching of a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher that
was holding a revival meeting in that church. Ever since I became old enough to think of
serving the Lord, I labored under the impression that one had an extraordinary feeling when
converted. All my life, I have labored under the same false idea. I look upon it as an
incorrect view that many have. I have held to the same view until recently, which kept me
from connecting myself with the church for many years. I finally concluded during that
meeting, that let the Lords will be what it might, if I went to torment, I would die praying
that I might be saved from eternal punishment.
From that day to this I have prayed earnestly that I might lead a true Christian life.
till I labored under doubts. I diligently studied the Bible, and tried to give close attention to
every sermon I heard. At times I would almost hive up trying to serve the Lord. At same
time I kept praying my savior to aid me in leading a consistent Christian life.
In May of this year Gipsey Smith by request, came here from Tupelo where he was
conducting a revival meeting, and preached a sermon on regeneration “Ye must be born
again, He declaimed he knew he was saved his sins pardoned, but he could not tell when.
About ‘the same time, I read a circular on “Soul winning” by Mullins a Baptist minister.
Both this sermon and the circular were quite helpful to me. I felt that God had forgiven my
sins, and that I had a hope for heaven, and was prepared to join my dear wife on that happy
shore where there would ne no more doubts or parting or shedding of tears.
I am now at the 1st of October 1929 and have been all the year trying to help others
to lead a better life. It affords me pleasure to do this, more than ever before.