Carnell Smith, a legendary Highwayman, was born in Beckley, West Virginia. At the age of nine Carnell moved to Fort Pierce, Florida where he lived with his eldest sister.
Carnell attended school at Lincoln Park Academy, where he was first introduced to painting by his art teacher, Ms. Zanobia Jefferson. But, later in his teenage years he moved to live with another sister Doretha, who married a gifted artist named Alfred Hair. Alfred began mentoring him after school, and there is where Carnell learned to make frames and he painted his first master piece. Carnell first learned to paint the backgrounds for most of Hair’s paintings. In 1964, he painted the sky, clouds and water along with his sister Doretha, who also is an artist in her own right. Hair would follow behind the two to complete the details in the paintings, and other pupil would go out and sell Hair’s paintings, sometimes still wet.
Carnell spent most of his time with Alfred and A. E. Backus, (another Highwayman) as they painted together. Backus and Hair used building material called Upson board to paint for canvas, and crown moldings to make their frames. Still today Carnell uses the crown molding frames. For his accomplishments with his artwork, he was inducted into the hall of Fame in 2004 by Governor Jed Bush. He now has paintings in the Governor’s mansion and the White House. Actor, Burt Reynolds has a collection of Carnell Smith, the Famous Florida Highwaymen as well.
After the untimely death of Alfred Hair, Carnell re-located to the West Palm Beach, Florida where he became a Christian and sought other career opportunities. He attended Nova University for one year and from there North Tech Institution for residential electrical wiring. Years later, He answered the call of God that was on his life for ministry. He then enrolled into Canon Bible College and Seminary University receiving an Associates Degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor Degree in Ministry. He later received an Honorary Doctorate in Life Skills and eventually earned a Doctorate degree in Theology. He serves as a Chaplain in the hospitals and prisons, after graduating from United International Chaplain School. Carnell now Pastors a church in the inner city of Philadelphia, PA, to contact him call (215)704-8115.