MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man’s kindness hasn’t gone unnoticed by some of his fellow church members, and he’s an inspiration to all who know him.
Artiek Smith lives in a small home near Midtown. Just a few blocks away, we found Jimmie and Bertha Roberson and their granddaughter Bella. They told us about Mr. Smith.
“Well, he’s an old friend, he’s 93 years of age, and he had an accident a couple of years back where a tree fell on him,” Jimmie said. “And he was in the hospital for a few weeks. Then he came out on a walker. After that, somebody stole his dog, and after that, he had COVID three times. So he really needs some blessing help.”
Jimmie said they met Artiek at their church.
“And he’s been at our church, Community Bible Church for 50 years,” Bertha said.
We thought Mr. Smith could use some Pass It On cash, so we loaded up and made the short drive to his home.
Once we arrived, Jimmie gave Artiek $1,000 from News Channel 3 and our anonymous donors. This Pass It On surprise was a little overwhelming.
“You really knocked me off my feet,” Artiek said.
He knows the Robersons are always looking out for him.
“Oh man, they are really a joy to know and to see every Sunday at church. I always look for them when I walk through the door,” he said.
Despite the challenges he’s faced, Mr. Smith remains upbeat.
“It hasn’t all been bad. It’s been good when you have neighbors like Bertha and Jimmie, it’s worthwhile,” he said.
We also found out Artiek was an artist when he was younger. He showed us his beautiful paintings.
“I was invited to Paris, France to show my artwork and over two thousand artists. They had my artwork on the front of the gallery,” he recalled. “And I just thought, wow, a little boy from Tennessee goes to Paris and is really recognized. That was back when I was young you know.”
Mr. Smith has led a wonderful life helping and teaching others. He also taught in the Continuing Education Program and the University of Memphis for 30 years.