The Rev. Dr. Brent Smith of Alexandria, Va., started serving Nov. 1 as mission development counselor at Mission Central in Mapleton, Iowa. Smith will be installed during a Dec. 17 service at Mission Central.
In this position, Smith serves alongside “Old Missionary Gary” Thies at Mission Central, an arm of LCMS Mission Advancement. Mission Central was launched in 2003 to help support the Synod’s missionaries and mission projects around the world.
As mission development counselor, Smith will work to inform LCMS congregations and their members of the Synod’s national and international mission work, while also connecting people with opportunities to support LCMS missionaries and projects with prayer, encouragement and voluntary giving. In addition, he will advocate for regional mission opportunities spearheaded or coordinated by their respective LCMS districts.
“Truly the Lord continues to grow His kingdom through the missionaries and mission projects of the LCMS and its partners nationally and internationally,” Smith said. “It is an honor to come alongside missionary Gary Thies at Mission Central to work together in this multi-generational mission effort to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Jesus is the best generosity strategist ever, and I’m humbled to have this opportunity to serve in His mission.”
Smith will be based in Omaha, Neb. — a location that will allow him both to welcome missionaries traveling to Mission Central and deploy nationally at the invitation of individuals and congregations.
“We are pleased that God has led Brent to accept the call to fill this important role for the LCMS,” said Mark Hofman, executive director of LCMS Mission Advancement.
“Mission Central has been faithfully served by our dear brother Gary for many, many years, and this addition to the team will expand Mission Central’s ability to serve joyfully generous people in the Great Plains and other parts of the country,” Hofman continued. “Gary and Brent are longtime friends and will be a great team as Brent learns more about the vocation of development counselor from a truly humble servant of Jesus.”
Smith has served in various positions in the church since 1995, when he left a public accounting job to work as business manager for the LCMS in Central Asia (1995-97). He later spent six years as an evangelistic missionary in Russia before taking on the role of regional director for the Synod’s Eurasia region (2006-2013).
Most recently, Smith served the LCMS Southeastern District as executive director for mission development (2013–16). In this position, he participated in the design and launch of the district’s “iNeighborhood” initiative, as well as other special efforts to reach the unchurched.
Smith is a 2001 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity International University, Deerfield, Ill., in 2011. He and his wife, Jennie, have three school-age children.
Posted November 9, 2016