Darryl and Gwen Smith were both born and raised in Chattanooga, TN. After High School, Darryl served in the US Army for three years. God saved him in 1991; he was licensed to preach in 1992, and ordained in 1994. Gwen studied Organizational Management graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from Covenant College. She gave her life to Christ in 1987 and they both joined staff with Cru in 1996 with a heart for young people.
For the first six years of ministry, they worked in the field reaching and discipling students at Howard High School in Chattanooga. Darryl also served as Chattanooga’s City Director, and the Southeast Regional Director. Subsequently, in the summer of 2006 Cru asked Darryl to serve as the Executive Director for the High School Ministry and upon accepting, they moved their family to the National Headquarters in Orlando, Florida. In 2013 they both were also invited to join the Campus Ministry Executive Team, while Gwen simultaneously began using her design and event planning skills as the Event Coordinator for the Campus Fund Development team.
“As we reflect on our leadership journey, one of our joys has been that God has used our leadership position to continue His work in us. I thought our leadership would be about leading changes in the ministry, but just as He did with the children of Israel, over and over, God has reminded us that it is far more about Him changing us and making us more like His Son,” says Darryl.
Throughout their time of stewarding these different leadership roles that God has called them to, they have both been committed to utilizing their gifts by also speaking and teaching the word of God all around the world. “As we endeavor to become one in ministry, it is our desire that we live out God’s calling in every aspect of our lives like in 2 Timothy 1:9; Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace,” says Gwen.
In 2017 Cru announced the creation of a new role within the U.S. Leadership team in which the Lord led Darryl and Gwen to co-direct. Their journey has prepared them to lead as the National Directors of Oneness and Diversity in this next season of their ministry, with dependence upon Jesus to help create a culturally diverse environment throughout all of Cru. They believe for, envision, and are trusting the Lord to see a great expansion of The Gospel through the unity of mind, heart, and purpose.
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