Spring 2009 Issue

Dr. Janis Smith ’02

Minister, Heartland Community Church
Adrian Dominican School of Education

Dr. Janis Smith doesn’t believe in modest goals.

As founder of Operation Rescue a Child she set out to save 200 million children from premature death by providing them with desperately needed food.

And that’s just part of her mission.

Operation Rescue a Child is a part of a larger group Smith founded called Hands to the World, an international missionary organization that works to feed, clothe, house and educate children on four continents. For most of her life, Smith has dedicated herself to helping others and it shows in the long list of her accomplishments and affiliations.

In addition to her work with Hands to the World, Smith is the worship leader and co-pastor at Heartland Community Church, a 4,000-member congregation in Central Florida that she and her husband established in 1986.

She is also chairman of the board of directors for Green Isle Children’s Ranch in Clermont, Florida, a ministry outreach program for at-risk boys, and has served on the board of Help Now, an assistance program for battered women in Orlando, Florida.

Smith holds a doctorate in education from Barry University and a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Midwest Seminary of Bible Theology in Portageville, Missouri. She is a nationally certified psychologist with five areas of specialty; she is certified as a clinical sexologist, clinical hypnotherapist, suicide intervention counselor, life coach and creation therapist.

Smith is also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and the National Association of Christian Counselors. She has more than 30 years of experience working with children and is the founder of LIFE Ministries, an organization that serves women nationwide.

Smith is president of the Institute of Psychological Studies, a distance-learning school that prepares individuals to serve as church counselors, and the founder and president of Hands to the World. She holds a master’s degree from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.