JON SMITH

FOUNDER/PRESIDENT OF ONEU NETWORK
Executive Director
PASTOR AT REDEEMER CHURCH OF ARLINGTON

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LIFE STORY

I was born in North Carolina and had the great blessing of growing up in a home centered on Jesus. Though I attended church during my childhood and adolescence, I did not truly know and follow Jesus until I turned 18. That summer God used my love for girls and partying to propel me towards Him at a camp that I attended annually (I would go to this camp every summer to get away for a week, and pick up a new girlfriend among other things). 

During my time at the camp, God was working in me in unexpected ways. I don’t know how to explain it because I was checking things out, I was thinking, I was open, I was justifying why I was OK and didn’t need Jesus. I thought to myself, “I'm a pastor's kid. I'm not a bad guy. I treated people fine. I hadn’t broken that many laws.” I think by Thursday night Jesus got tired of my push backs and was like, “You’re mine.” I’ll never forget that moment on the warm night of June 25, 1996. Jesus went from a boring, irrelevant, unreal, waste of time to an electric, massively relevant, true, compelling beauty! My life was radically changed. 

Everything was different by the time school started. During my senior year, I was discipled by some godly Young Life leaders at my school. From there, I went to UMBC, where I received a bachelor's degree, and a scholarship to play lacrosse for the Retrievers. While at UMBC, I also founded a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) on campus. 

In 2003, I began my training to be a pastor, and in 2004, I became a pastor at Covenant Life Church (CLC) in Maryland. In 2010, CLC confirmed the Lord’s leading in my life and in May of that year we were sent out to establish the first chapter of OneU at the University of Maryland College Park. In 2002, I married my wife, Jenni. We have four children. 

HOPE FOR ONEU

My hope for OneU is that we would be enthralled and satisfied in the glory of God in Christ and from that enthrallment we would gladly, and actively join Jesus in gathering the nations for His fame.