By Mary Baker-Boudissa
Church of God Ministries (CGM) has named Rev. Handel Smith as the new director of domestic ministries.
“Churches grow through God’s power,” says Rev. Handel Smith. “My desire is to be used by God to help our churches continue to discover God’s purpose.” Smith will join the executive leadership team at Church of God Ministries later this summer, under the direction of Jim Lyon.
Smith has long served the church at the local and national level. His tenure includes more than fifteen years with the National Inspiration Youth Convention and thirty-two years with Celebration Church, in leadership roles, including deputy pastor of strategic planning, congregational pastor, minister of music, and director of Celebrate Recovery. Under his guidance, seventy-six ministry teams at four Celebration Church locations, along with the staff at Celebrate Recovery, serve and support men, women, and youth in various stages of spiritual and personal journeys. He has developed insight into what is at the heart of effective servant leadership. Smith strives, first, to be “a loving leader, helping people and organizations to reach their full potential in God.”
His business acumen, education, and training will also bring a unique perspective to the leadership team at CGM. His professional background includes twenty-seven years of service to Verizon, as well as founding and operating his own company, High Velocity Solutions (HVS), providing consulting in the areas of church growth, management, technology, and marketing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public affairs and government from Anderson College (now University). He also holds a master of science in business administration from Johns Hopkins University and earned an executive leadership certificate from the Wharton Business School.
Smith has served the nonprofit sector as an officer in the Black Administration for Child Welfare, as an adjunct professor at Strayer University, and on several boards. Across his career and ministry, particularly as Smith transitions to the role of domestic ministries director, he has dedicated his life to be an instrument of God. He cites as one of his most foundational passages of Scripture, “I plant the seed, Apollos waters, and God gives the increase.”(1 Cor 3:6–9). In Smith’s own words, “While we wait for God to work for us, I believe God is waiting to work through us.”
What has compelled Handel and Vickey, his wife of thirty-two years, to leave the Celebration family that has loved them through so much, including the loss of their home to fire? In large part, it is the work they believe that God is going to do through the Church of God, specifically through CGM, and the call upon their lives to do their part. “This unified church will accomplish the Great Commission by being faithful and fruitful servant leaders for Christ. We will accomplish church growth through church health. Church health can only happen when the message is biblical and the mission is balanced.” The role of CGM, then, is to provide the vision and mission through which we work and, more importantly, support local pastors as they implement the structure that will allow them to serve their communities.
Smith is further encouraged and inspired by God’s timing in bringing the leadership team together with Jim Lyon, who he describes as a “visionary full of God’s love and God’s Word.” Handel and Vickey, who is an accomplished vocalist and musician, are coming with the same commitment to Christ that has guided them through their years in ministry together: “Jesus is the subject, and we are called to model Jesus to the world.”
Please pray for Handel, Vickey, and their three children as they transition to life in Indiana.