Louisville, KY – October 20, 2022

The Board of Directors of Youth Ministry International (YMI) has provided a leave of absence to its Founder and President, Dr. Randy Smith, as he and his wife, Lynn, are dealing with their personal health and are planning for his retirement.  The YMI family expresses its deepest appreciation for Dr. Randy Smith for his 31 years of visionary leadership and for the global impact the ministry has had on the spread of the Gospel.

What began as an African Missionary training week in 1988, resulted in the formation of an official mission organization founded in the Spring of 1991. YMI has emerged as a prominent global influence for the cause of local church youth ministry with 92 current National Professors. God has used YMI trainers to reach and disciple hundreds while serving in often difficult situations amidst COVID and war time conditions showing true examples of sacrifice and service. <

Since YMI’s founding:

  • Over 857, 500 young people have found a place of spiritual growth in a local church,
  • Over 515, 500 young people have professed Christ as Savior,
  • 40 schools in 13 countries now facilitate the formal instruction YMI courses offering

Accredited degrees (AA, BS, MA, and Doctorate) – “Training the Trainers.”

  • 21 Center for Youth Ministries were begun at institutions of higher learning,
  • 3 new CYM centers are starting in new countries at this writing.

Mark Roberts, YMI Chairman of the Board and Texas businessman currently serves as acting CEO/President during the transition. “Randy Smith has been a faithful servant, focusing on reaching young people for over 50 years, he and his wife Lynn have left a tremendous legacy. We pray for God’s healing and their future,” Roberts stated.

World leaders in the Christian higher education community have extended accolades and well wishes to Dr. Smith, including Dr. Frew Tamrat, Ethiopian Theological College, “You have been a blessing to many. I am very grateful for knowing you. We praise God for using you to start the MA in Youth Ministry at ETC.

Youth Ministry Director of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Dr. James Solomon, said about Dr. Smith: “We thank God for making you and your family a blessing to the world. Your commitment, sacrifice and total life devotion to youth ministry has become a model and example for us and even generations to come.  Your life is truly a testimony of God’s grace and Faithfulness.”

Elio Martiz, National Director of Jesus Focused Youth Ministry in Cuba, stated: “Receive a big hug and applause on behalf of the Dream Team, as we stand committed to the continuation of serving the Lord by creating the right links for YMI in Cuba and Latin America to impact the next generation of Youth Ministry leaders.”

Dr. Randy Smith has worked tirelessly over the past three decades to place YMI on the world map as it relates to youth ministry and the training of youth pastors. In the years ahead, YMI looks forward to building on the success that the Lord has allowed it to have as the organization continues to seek out new areas of growth and ministry to reach the youth of the world.