Our beloved John Smith passed away peacefully on the morning of Saturday, April 22nd. This page will serve as a remembrance and honor of our dear friend.
"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
John Smith was a pastor in the local church for 30 years or so in several states, Florida being his last. In that time, his role was most often Executive pastor and not only was he gifted in leadership and organizational systems, he was a very gifted teacher, and a very gifted pastoral counselor seeing families, couples, individuals and teams. He loved doing all three of these things. One of the highlights of his career was his work initiating a Haiti Ministry through his position at The Journey Orange City. He loved his relationships with pastors in Haiti and enjoyed visiting there. He helped start many programs at The Journey, nurtured leaders, and met many people that he continued to love, minister to and connect with until his passing. As he was transitioning out of full-time work in the church, he felt called to come to Heart Peace Counseling Center and worked towards an additional Professional Life Coaching Certification and came on board. He was able to use all of his gifts in this setting with the additional bonus that he was able to meet with more people one on one and make a difference in their lives. He wanted to focus more on people than systems.
John joined us in 2015 part-time. In 2016 he was a part of our 5-6 part Seminar Series "For your Heart Peace" and in 2018 he spoke at our "Hearts Unshaken Conference" at the Deltona Center and at University Carillon, Oviedo (one of our partner sites). His teaching on "Faith Uncompromised" was the highlight of that conference. Many still remember it today. He also would share messages of hope to our partner and area churches in community during times of duress such as COVID or on special occassions when asked to share such as at Friday Moms in Oviedo at University Carillon or other church and civic locations. He loved bringing our Monday team text Devotionals as well as leading prayer time and devotional sharing during our once a month virtual meetings. He came onboard full-time in 2018.
John loved our team, supported our team, helped lead our team, and was involved in the hiring process of many of our team. He was the best advisor and able to speak into the systems within Heart Peace Counseling to help it run more smoothly and efficiently to maximize our ability to help the most people possible while still maintaining quality. He helped hundreds to thousands of life coaching, spiritual coaching, individual, family and couples clients through his strategic gifting, understanding, counseling and coaching abilities and deep spiritual wisdom.
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction." I Thess 1:3-5
John was also a shepherd of our team and truly cared. He had huge capacity to care deeply for a large number of people. So each client he saw knew he was genuine and cared. His life had truly been changed by God and he felt called to share that love, hope and peace with everyone he met whether by word or example. He wasn't raised in the church as a believer, so he never took praying for someone for granted. He knew how important, powerful and wonderful prayer was. And for some, how rare. He would share that some have never had someone pray for them by name.
If John had a personal mission statement it would be to "Glorify God and His faithfulness." We will forever be grateful for his impact on our lives at Heart Peace Counseling Center. If you had the fortune to work with him, we know you are blessed and grateful as well. John was one of God's best ideas, he was a gift to the world, and he was our friend.
John knew what it was to be a friend of God and loved by God. He will always be remembered and honored at Heart Peace Counseling Center. We will forever be grateful to God for the gift of the time we had with him.
Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. I Thess 5:12 (NLT)
We wanted to leave you with some gifts - two of John's devotionals:
Devotional written by John Smith in 2018
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29 (NIV)
The Bible has so many inspiring stories of the lives of God's servants. The life of Peter was no exception. Peter was a common fisherman who left everything to follow the call of Jesus. There are a number of stories in the Bible about Peter's life --some good and some not so good. Maybe, the one story that is most remembered is when he denied Jesus three times to a group of hostile onlookers. At that moment, fear took over him and prevented him from even admitting that he knew Jesus.
Fear grips all of us at one time or another, but Peter's story doesn't end with fear. Peter became a great fisher of men and a bold preacher of the Gospel, beginning at the day of Pentecost. Later, he willingly suffered persecution and beatings, even death for the sake of Jesus. Peter's beginning was not his ending. You may fall short more times in your life than you would like to. Don't lose hope or give up. You too can have a changed life-- one that finishes strong for the sake of Christ.
God grant me the courage to finish strong. Thank you that I can rely on your power working in me. In Jesus' name. Amen
The God of Compassion and Mercy
Devotional written by John Smith in 2018
Moses immediately threw himself down to the ground and worshiped. Exodus 34:8 (NLT)
Imagine that you have been called into a meeting with your boss. You and everyone at your workplace have majorly messed up. What kind of response are you looking to hear from your boss?
Now read the following verse: "The Lord passed in front, calling out, 'Yahweh the Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness' (Exodus 34:6 NLT)."
You see, God could have fired Moses and the entire nation of Israel, but He didn't. He reminded them of who He was. The same God calls to you and me to leave our mistakes, our sins, behind and to come to Him. The process is simple: tell Him you messed up, ask Him for forgiveness through Jesus, and then do what Moses did. "Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped (Exodus 34:8 NLT)."
The question is, will you come? Will you receive His mercy and grace and love?
John is survived by his wife of 45 years Maria Smith, his two daughters Sarah Smith and Jessica Smith, his son Chris Smith and two grandchildren Eva and Sean. His children all know and serve the Lord. One thing this humble man was proud of was them. His family was his heart. Please keep his family in your prayers as they grieve.
John's education includes:
* Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Farleigh Dickenson University
* Master’s Degree in Divinity from Baptist Bible Seminary
* Certified Professional Life Coach from Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching.
* Certified Strategic Coach
* SYMBIS Premarital/Marital Counseling Facilitator