Former CMF director ‘dreamed for the nations to know Christ’

Former CMF General Director Jim Smith, Ph.D., a life-long Christian Church preacher and faithful servant of his Lord Jesus Christ, passed away October 23, 2019, at age 91.

Born in Centerville, Kansas, Jim attended Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon, where his met his wife, Joyce Couch, of Seattle, Wash. He graduated in 1951 and went on to receive graduate degrees from Butler University in Indianapolis and eventually the Doctor of Missiology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Jim and Joyce served churches in Oregon, California, Indiana, and Maryland. He was also a part-time professor at Hope International University.

Jim served as the General Director of CMF from 1967 to 1986 and as a staff member from 1986 to 1991. He was also a board member from 1960-67 and 1994-95. During his years with CMF, Jim encouraged consensus thinking and decision-making, as well as long-range planning, and modeled servant leadership and visionary thinking. His life-long passion was that the gospel of Jesus Christ be preached to all nations.

“Jim’s time with CMF as a board member and General Director could be characterized as the organization’s growing and stretching years,” said Dr. Kip Lines, the current CMF Executive Director.

“Jim’s dream for the nations to know Christ fueled the addition of many fields, including new ministries in Kenya among the Turkana and the Maasai, partnerships with church-planters in Indonesia, initiatives to the middle class in Brazil and Mexico City, and pioneer work with a new people group in Tanzania,” he added. “Long-range planning became a CMF hallmark during Jim’s tenure, and he encouraged the public relations component of communication with supporters. His work earned the respect of our colleagues in Christian colleges as co-workers in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. God blessed Jim’s leadership of CMF as he was compelled by Christ’s love to transform lives and communities around the world.”

To learn more about Jim, you can see his full obituary here.