top of page

History

Great Commission Youth Ministry was started by Dr. Randy Smith, a veteran church youth pastor for more
than 30 years. Dr. Smith has been a  youth ministry professor and National and International trainer of local
church youth workers for more than 32 years. While serving as a Youth Pastor in the ministry of Dr. Jerry
Falwell at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA in the 80’s, Dr. Smith traveled to Kenya Africa to
assist in conducting a training conference with missionaries and local national church pastors.  The youth
conference, led by co-worker Dr. David Adams, professor of Youth Ministry at Liberty University, was extremely
successful and led to youth ministry growth in many participating church youth groups in Kenya. 

As a result, Dr. Smith returned to the U.S. and immediately founded Youth Ministry International in 1994. While
remaining a youth ministry pastor in two mega churches in Virginia and Michigan, and serving as Youth
Ministry professor at several U.S. Bible Colleges, including the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Louisville, KY, Dr. Smith led and built YMI to a global training youth mission agency that successfully trained
more than 45,000 youth leaders is 33 countries and set up the first formal BA and MA academic youth ministry
training degree programs in 13 countries resulting in more than 2500 graduates with Diploma, BA, and MA
degrees. As of 2022, more than 1500 students are still being trained in those national youth ministry degree
programs set up by Dr. Smith in countries such as China, Cuba, Mexico, Nepal, Tanzania, Romania, Ukraine,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. During those 30 years of YMI history, more than
550,000 youth became followers of Christ, and  more than 830,000 youth participated in local church youth
ministry discipleship programs.

In January of 2023, Dr. Smith retired from the presidency of YMI, which continues its global training vision
under new and committed leadership. Subsequently,  after 3 months of prayer and seeking council of close
friends and advisors, decided to start a Youth Ministry Consulting Agency – Great Commission Youth Ministry,
LLC. Though much smaller than YMI and not a mission agency, GCYM continues to maintain the same values
and mission goals of YMI. Dr. Smith continues to consult with international youth workers to train and establish
youth ministry training programs in several countries.
In addition, Dr. Smith has returned to training local youth workers in the U.S. where he is conducting training
seminars and conferences across America. Several seminars have already been conducted and several are
being scheduled in the future. Dr. Smith continues to teach youth ministry courses in person and online with
several seminaries around the world. 
         
Dr. Smith has now established 3 advisory councils for support and accountability: one for administrative
leadership, one for international ministry, and one for consultation and training in the U.S. The majority of these leaders have either been trained by Dr. Smith or have served with him in the ministry of training youth workers globally. As Dr. Smith says, a minister never retires from his or her calling! Dr. Smith believes that if the Great Commission is to be accomplished in the 21st century, it must by and large be a youth movement. Dr. Smith wants to use the ministry of Great Commission Youth Ministry to give that movement as much momentum as possible, with God’s help and the help of the world’s youth themselves! May it be so! To God be the Glory! Amen.

Mission & Vision

“Equip church Youth Leaders to evangelize and disciple the world’s youth through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, guided by the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit."

Statement of Faith

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory, executing distinct and harmonious offices in the work of redemption.

bottom of page