Religion

Rev. Wayne B. Smith, hospitalized for heart problems, out of intensive care

Rev. Wayne Smith, 84, photographed at Donut Days, 185 Southland Dr., in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, February 07, 2013. Smith was one of Lexington's opinion leaders before retirement as minister of Southland Christian Church. He's still influential and available for speaking engagements. He often "hangs out" in the afternoon at Donut Days where he meets with friends. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Rev. Wayne Smith, 84, photographed at Donut Days, 185 Southland Dr., in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, February 07, 2013. Smith was one of Lexington's opinion leaders before retirement as minister of Southland Christian Church. He's still influential and available for speaking engagements. He often "hangs out" in the afternoon at Donut Days where he meets with friends. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

The Rev. Wayne B. Smith, founding minister of megachurch Southland Christian on Harrodsburg Road, was moved out of the intensive care unit at Central Baptist Sunday after being admitted Friday night with heart problems.

"We were very concerned Friday, but he's doing much better today," daughter Jana Thore said Sunday. She said her father, 85, was recuperating in a private room and was not allowed guests.

Smith left the pulpit at Southland Christian Church at the end of 1995 after nearly 40 years as its senior minister. The church now has thousands of worshipers at its main site in Jessamine County and campuses on Richmond Road and in Danville.

Smith is known for his sense of humor and generosity. Humorist Carl Hurley has called him "America's funniest preacher."

During his decades in the public spotlight, Smith weighed in against businesses opening on Sunday, against Sunday alcohol sales, against the lottery and abortion, and for capital punishment.

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