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Wallace Bunnell Anthony Smith (born July 29, 1929) was Prophet-President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) (now Community of Christ), from April 5, 1978 through April 15, 1996. Son of W. Wallace Smith, he was designated as his father's successor in 1976, and ordained church president in 1978 when his father retired to emeritus status. Wallace B. Smith is a great-grandson of Joseph Smith (the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement), and was a practicing ophthalmologist in the Independence, Missouri area before accepting ordination to RLDS leadership.

Wallace B. Smith
Prophet Emeritus
since April 15, 1996 (1996-04-15)
Prophet–President of the Church
April 5, 1978 (1978-04-05) – April 15, 1996 (1996-04-15)
PredecessorW. Wallace Smith
SuccessorW. Grant McMurray
ReasonDesignated successor by W. Wallace Smith
End reasonGranted emeritus status
Prophet and President Designate [1]
1976 (1976) – April 5, 1978 (1978-04-05)
Called byW. Wallace Smith
ReasonTo assist the Prophet-President
End reasonBecame Prophet–President of the Church
Personal details
BornWallace Bunnell Anthony Smith
(1929-07-29) July 29, 1929 (age 90)
Lamoni, Iowa, United States
ResidenceIndependence Missouri
Spouse(s)Anne Smith[2]
ParentsW. Wallace Smith
Rosamund Bunnell Smith

Smith's presidency was notable for authorizing construction of the church's temple in Independence, Missouri, with construction occurring from 1990 to 1994. His presidency was also noted for promoting a church conference vote on April 5, 1984 which approved ordination of females to priesthood offices: The first ordination took place on November 17, 1985.[3] Smith is also credited with being one of the first church leaders to formally propose a name-change for the church, at a Joint Council retreat in 1994. At the subsequent World Conference in 1996, the proposed name change (to "Community of Christ" from "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints") was not approved by a majority vote at that time, but conference approval did take place during the April 2000 World Conference, four years after Smith's retirement as the church's prophet-president.

On September 19, 1995, Smith announced he was retiring as prophet, seer and revelator of the church, and designated W. Grant McMurray as his successor. Smith formally retired on April 15, 1996, at which time his successor McMurray was ordained in a ceremony at the RLDS Auditorium. Smith was designated "President Emeritus," as his father likewise had been designated in 1978 upon ordination of his son. Smith holds the position today.


  1. ^ Book of Doctrine and Covenants (Independence, Missouri: Herald Publishing House) 152:1a.
  2. ^ Kahtava, Alex (January 2010). "Wallace B. Smith Honored". Community of Christ News. Community of Christ. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  3. ^ "2 Women Ordained to RLDS Priesthood". Deseret News. 1985-11-19. Retrieved 2010-07-05.

External linksEdit

Community of Christ titles
Preceded by
W. Wallace Smith
President Emeritus
April 15, 1996–
With: W. Wallace Smith
Succeeded by
Preceded by
W. Wallace Smith
April 5, 1978–April 15, 1996
Succeeded by
W. Grant McMurray