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A Tribute to Allen Smith

A Tribute to Allen Smith

One of the founders of Pilgrim Institute

By Ruth J. Smith

On November 20, 1937, a boy was born on the western slope of Colorado. This boy would grow to have an influence on many before the Lord saw fit to take him home on April 9, 1995. Today marks the 80th anniversary of his birth, and it seemed fitting to remember this man and the contribution he made during his life.

His life wasn’t easy physically, although he was never known to complain. At the young age of approximately seven, he spent six months in the hospital with rheumatic fever. This was before the days of penicillin and even with the good medical treatment of the day, he was left with a very damaged heart, which was not improved by another episode of rheumatic fever in about seventh grade. The physical limitations kept him from participating in any sports, but didn’t hinder his love of riding his bicycle. As a young man, he and his best friend trained on their bikes until they could ride from their homes in western Denver to the Red Rocks Amphitheater at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a round trip ride of about 30 miles. He continued to ride bikes throughout his life.

Allen loved the mountains, whether camping in a tent or camper, hiking the trails, enjoying a drive to see the changing colors, riding tubes down the hills in the winter, or riding across the mountain tops on a snowmobile.

As time passed, we met at the church in Denver where we were later married. There was college where Allen studied Broadcast Engineering. The Lord also blessed our home with three beautiful daughters.

Never interested in being in the spotlight, Allen served faithfully at church in the sound booth. At several times, he had the privilege of serving as Deacon in the church where we were members. Once we were involved in the Pilgrim Institute ministry, he was involved in the recording of sessions, always particular that we would have the best recording possible. At one point in his career, the Lord Providentially had him learn the art of printing. It truly was an art to Allen. His exactness was always demonstrated in the projects he produced. He took old equipment and was able to produce outstanding material first at the church and then for Pilgrim Institute.

Early in the 1970’s, Allen and I attended a class taught at our church, which introduced us to the ideas of America’s Christian history and government. We had no idea how the decision to attend this class would have such an impact on our life. It changed us personally, as we realized the need for personal self government and the importance of Biblical principles in governing our home. In 1979, with two other couples, we were part of the founding of the Pilgrim Institute ministry.

At first, Allen was a supporting factor to the ministry, but eventually he worked full time in the ministry. He not only produced all of the printed material, but took responsibility for the daily office duties, overseeing facility maintenance, and traveled frequently to conferences helping with all of the details involved, driving many miles around the country.

A man of great patience, he always wanted to have things done correctly. Whether it was keeping the knives sharpened in the kitchen, tuning the radio exactly to the station, or printing materials exactly to the quality he knew could be done, he wouldn’t give up until he could accomplish that goal. He wouldn’t accept less than that quality.

Individuals who took the time to visit with Allen realized the great intelligence which he had. Never one to read much fiction, we might find him reading the dictionary or an encyclopedia. And, frustrating in all word games, he never forgot what he read. His daughters quickly learned he was the one to ask when they had questions about their science lessons, not their mother. However, they also had to be prepared that the explanation may take a little while.

Allen loved his family. He only lived long enough to enjoy the blessing of the first of his eight grandchildren before the Lord took him home. But he took advantage of every minute he had with Cari.

The day eventually came when Allen had to undergo open heart surgery to replace his damaged heart valve. But that didn’t stop his continued work. Only a few years later he was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery, the doctors informed us that they were unable to remove all of the cancer. Every means that were available at that time were taken, but, in the end, his body couldn’t fight any longer. However, we all knew that our lives are in the Hand of God. He is the one that gives life and He is the one that determines when we are to go home to be with Him.

Allen’s quiet, determined character was an inspiration to all those who knew him.  At the time of Allen’s homegoing, many friends called and the comment which came again and again was that he was a man of dignity.  Webster tells us that dignity is nobleness or elevation of mind, consisting in a high sense of propriety, truth and justice, with an abhorrence of mean and sinful actions.  These words describe him well.

As I was preparing this tribute, I asked our daughters to give me some words that they would use to describe their father’s character and these are the words which they sent and which I wholeheartedly agree: “Quiet but strong, industrious, gracious, very hard working, thoughtful and caring, sacrificially giving, loving with a good sense of humor, quiet strength that perseveres through struggle and hardship, love for family, curiosity to learn new information, a wealth of knowledge (if the other person inquired about the subject), thorough attention to the tiniest details.” It seems these are a testimony of a great father.

At the memorial service, the Pastor who had spent time with Allen during those final days made this statement: “He looked death in the eye and did not waver.”

As husband, father, grandfather, and best friend, Allen has been missed. But we pray that his memory will live on and the ministry for which he labored so faithfully continues to remain true to its purpose until we see the restoration of this great land or the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you knew Allen, we would invite your comment below, including your memory of his character or his life which you would enjoy sharing with us.

Cyber Monday Special on Rudiments of America’s Christian History

Save $50 on the online courses | Rudiments of America's Christian History

Coupon Code: ONLINE50

Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government online courses.

Choose from the Adult Course and/or High School Course (graded or ungraded).
Coupon good until November 30, 2017 11:59 pm EST.


High School Course Details:

For several decades, an essential part of American education has been neglected — the history of the Christian foundation of this nation and the Biblical principles of government upon which this republic rests. This course is designed to introduce the high school student to America’s Christian History and these governmental principles.

  • •America’s Christian History and its importance identified
  • •Identifying and researching Biblical principles of history and government
  • •The effect of the Gospel on men and nations
  • •The student’s responsibility for the restoration of the American Christian Republic
  • •Reading and drawing conclusions from texts
  • •Guided analysis of significant individuals, events, institutions and documents
  • •Tools for mastering the skill of Biblical research and reasoning
  • •Reflective questions, essays, maps and charts

The Online Course provides ongoing learning for today’s lifestyle. Online learning allows you to work at your own pace; it is flexible and convenient.

Adult Course Details:

Online Learning provides ongoing learning for today’s lifestyle. Online learning allows you to work at your own pace; it is flexible and convenient.

For the past 30 years, Pilgrim Institute has led the way in equipping parents, educators, and concerned citizens to discover:

  • America’s strong foundation on Biblical principles
  • The remarkable record of God’s Hand at work in all of history, for all men and nations
  • The history of the Bible in relation to the history of liberty
  • The key principles of self and civil government necessary to perpetuate our Republic
  • The tools of Biblical reasoning which enable you to discern a Biblical view of any topic, issue, academic subject, etc.
  • A wealth of ideas and inspiration for your home, small group, classroom, or church

The Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government Course is the first course available and it includes the following:

  • Audio lectures
  • A proven sequence of study
  • Clear step-by-step lessons
  • Directed questions to construct your personal mastery of America’s Christian history, government, and education
  • Guided study of The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America and Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History
  • Individualized insights, comments, and suggestions from an experienced instructor
  • Optional: 3-Ring Binder in which to file all materials

Ring the Bell for Liberty

Ring the Bell for Liberty with Four Ways to Celebrate Independence Day!

Americans gather together with friends and family to celebrate America’s Independence, often with food and fireworks! This Independence Day, you can bring more than just nostalgia to your gathering with four ways to celebrate!

Take time to read through first-hand accounts of our struggle for Independence. Ideas include the letters of John & Abigail Adams.
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” – excerpt of a letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams. Read  more here.

Ring the Bell for Liberty


Why keep your love of America’s Christian History to one day per year? Use July 4th as a springboard to invite your friends and family to the study  Restoring America’s Biblical Foundations!


Independence Day can be a day where you renew your individual commitment to knowing the rudiments of America’s Christian history and government enabling you to pass the vision on to the succeeding generations.
Join an online course and begin renewing your understanding of America’s Christian history and government.
We recommend:


Have you ever wondered why we have a Liberty Bell? Why would we ring the bell for liberty? Learn more about why we ring the bell for liberty with this excerpt from The Mighty Works of God: Liberty and Justice.
“In colonial times, various means were used to communicate news. Messengers were sometimes sent to cry out the news in the towns and villages. Often the town hall bell or church bell was rung to call the people together to announce news. Such was the use of the bell in the old State House in Philadelphia, 1776, as it pealed forth the news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.”
Enjoy the following resources from The Mighty Works of God: Liberty and Justice For All-
Used by permission from The Mighty Works of God: Liberty and Justice for All.

However you choose to celebrate Independence Day, Pilgrim Institute extends our heartfelt greetings to you, your family, and your circle of friends. As we have been blessed by the gracious hand of Almighty God, may we be mindful of His truth for this generation and those to come.

Recommended Resources:

Pilgrim Institute Training Opportunities

Pilgrim Institute Training Opportunities

PIlgrim Institute training opportunities

June 26-30, 2017
Developing an American Christian Curriculum
Winter Garden, Florida
Course Fee:
$325 — Registered by June 5, 2017
$350 — Registered after June 5, 2017
July 10-12, 2017
Course Fee:
 For details and to RSVP for the event, contact teristanger1@gmail.comPataneDeb@gmail.comFranHancock@aol.com: or contact Pilgrim Institute.
After June 1, the cost will be $175.00.

The Price that was Paid for the Bible

Do you know the Price that Was Paid for the Bible?

Do you know the price that was paid for the Bible? Join Ruth Smith in this powerful family presentation.

Free video download here.

“Many Americans have little understanding of the price that was paid for us to have the Bible in our hands. It is important for the students to treasure the Bible as the Word of God and to recognize the price that men paid to give us the Bible in English.”1

The history of the Bible in English begins with the earliest light of John Wycliffe’s translation from the Latin. The Roman church of that day did not approve the people having the Scriptures in their hand, but Wycliffe labored for the people of England to have the Word of God in their language. Though his life was threatened, God preserved Wycliffe and his assistants to produce the written word. But first the people had to learn to read. Even without the printing press, the knowledge of the Word spread throughout England. “Historians tell us that if you met two people on the road in England, at least one would have followed the teachings of Wycliffe.”2

“William Tyndale had studied the Word of God. He knew it was very important for each person to read the Bible for himself. He did not think the church leaders should be the only ones who could have a Bible. He declared, ‘If God preserves my life, I will cause a boy that driveth a plow to know more of the Scriptures than the pope.”3 Tyndale dedicated his life to translating the Scriptures, not from the Latin, but from the original languages. For this labor, he paid the ultimate sacrifice, as he was imprisoned and martyred. God, in His wisdom, opened the door for Tyndale’s translation in England. “Within one year, Tyndale’s translation of the Bible was brought to the King. The King said the Bible could be sold in England.”4

Persecution of Bible scholars and teachers under the bloody rule of Queen Mary brought together the men who would produce the Geneva Bible – the Bible of the Pilgrims. Though Queen Mary’s purpose was evil, God meant it for good.

The story goes on with the great price that was paid for the Bible to be in English for all the people. Do we as individuals and families know this story and do we treasure it?

Additional posts you might enjoy:

The Bible in English, Do We Treasure It? Interview with Ruth J. Smith

Without the Bible, Truth will be Hidden, Part Two of Interview with Ruth J. Smith

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