DALLAS—When Texas Baptist Men sought a chief operating officer, they looked for a rare combination of youth and experience. The organization wanted someone with a background both in business and ministry.
They found it in John-Travis Smith, 32, who grew up in Royal Ambassadors and has served TBM in a variety of capacities, including as vice president for finance and member of the TBM Forever Foundation board.
“I have known John-Travis nearly his whole life,” TBM Executive Director Mickey Lenamon. “We are pleased and privileged to have him on board with us.”
Smith served as interim chief operating officer since March, and the executive committee of the TBM board elected him to the permanent post effective Aug. 15. In that role, he will manage overall financial operations, oversee the office staff and update policies and procedures in areas ranging from accounting to human resources.
Before he joined the TBM staff in Dallas, he was pastor to young adults at First Baptist Church in Bryan since June 2013. Previously, he served 11 years at First Baptist Church in Hempstead, first as youth minster, later as associate pastor and eventually as interim pastor.
Smith earned his bachelor of business administration degree in finance from Texas A&M University and his master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Smith believes God used all his experiences to prepare him for his new role with TBM.
“It all comes together,” he said. “It’s not just the business side, and it’s not just the pastoral side. It’s a perfect blend of the two.”
In regard to the business aspect, Smith said, he wants to ensure TBM operates efficiently and that “every dollar is used in ministry.”
With respect to involving volunteers in ministry, he hopes TBM will continue to expand opportunities for hands-on engagement and help lay people discover ways to use their skills and interests in Christian service.
For example, as a licensed private pilot, he hopes to encourage renewed ministry involvement by the TBM Aviation Fellowship.
“I also see a need for us to capture a younger demographic,” he said.
Smith and his wife, Kayla, have two daughters—Lorelai Anna and Scarlett Caroline—and a third child on the way.