The Smiths have been serving faithfully with Kentucky Mountain Mission since October of 1979, and after more than 40 years of ministry have recently retired. GCC has supported them as missionaries for decades and we have been blessed to send a team each summer to serve at Sunshine Camp since 1990.
While the Smiths will be officially retiring from active ministry at KMM, they will continue some of their other ministries, such as jail ministry and ministry through Idamay Bible Church. They also hope to assist in the work of KMM as the Lord directs.
Our mission focus is to reach children, young people, and adults with the good news of the gospel in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. We do this through church planting, public school ministries, jail ministries, and community outreaches, and our primary focus is on the outreach of Youth Haven Bible Camp.
I was blessed to have been raised in a Christian family that attended and was active in Hope Church in St. Louis, and I was saved at a young age at a VBS meeting there. I grew in the Lord thanks to the youth ministries at Hope, and attended Faith Christian Academy from 7th grade on. I also attended church camp each summer, and that is where the Lord really got a hold of my life. I went with a group from Hope to work at a Sunshine Camp at KMM at age 15, and worked there for several more summers through my high school and college years, and felt the call of the Lord to return full time. Diana and I were married before my last year at Letourneau College, and after my graduation we raised our support and were on the field the following November. The Lord has richly blessed us these 42 years in many ways, and we are so thankful for His people who have always upheld us in prayer.
I am thankful for parents that made sure our family was exposed to God’s Word and its changing power as we attended Emmaus Bible Chapel in Ferguson, Missouri, where they were a vital part of the ministry to young people. I remember a dear Sunday School teacher who made the Bible come alive to me through flannelgraph lessons. At age 5, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. Bible Camp was an important part of my grade school and teenage years where God’s Spirit worked to help me make life-changing decisions. I attended Faith Christian Academy during high school, where I met my husband, Steve. While attending a church service on a basketball trip with the school, the Spirit convicted me to surrender my life to God’s service. After we married in 1978, we were led to join Kentucky Mountain Mission where we are most involved in a Christian camping ministry.