Pastor Justyn Smith is an Illinois boy from birth, and he spent his teenage years as a member of Crossroads Baptist Church. As a child, after coming under the conviction of his sin against the holy God, he knelt by his bedside and cried out for salvation in Jesus' name. He was later baptized as a teenager at Crossroads Baptist Church. At a very pivotal point in his life, God gripped his heart with the need to be involved in full-time Christian service as Bro Scott Pauly preached a powerful message from Proverbs 28:1. God then called him to attend Pensacola Christian College where he met his lovely bride, Rachel Smith.
Rachel Smith is Alaskan Grown. She, just as her husband, was saved as a young child and her parents had the privilege of leading her to the Lord. A few years later, Rachel was baptized at her church in Anchorage, Alaska. As a young teenager, she dedicated her life to full-time Christian service. God led Rachel to Pensacola Christian College to study Church Music.
Justyn and Rachel were married on July 21st, 2007. Immediately thereafter they entered into the youth pastorate at Princeville Baptist Church under Pastor Lee Taylor. After only nine months, God clearly led them into the itinerant ministry of Evangelism. They spent four and a half years traveling all across America and into Canada, Mexico, and India preaching the Word of God. To God's glory, there were over 300 salvation decisions, and hundreds, if not thousands, of dedication decisions.
In January 2012, God made it very clear through prayer and fasting that Justyn and Rachel Smith were to step toward the pastorate of Crossroads Baptist Church. So in September 2012, after fulfilling their evangelism responsibilities, they began their new journey together as Justyn assumed the role as Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church.
Here is an update.
Well, my friends, it’s been a few months now since God has opened up the door for my wife and me to Pastor Crossroads Baptist Church. We are thoroughly enjoying every minute of all that God has for us. With that said, I would like to share with you some of the things God has done and is doing amongst us. I would also like to give you a brief question and answer time from the two of us.
Probably one of the largest blessings we have received since coming off the road was the privilege of becoming first-time home owners. On November 13th, I had the privilege of being able to carry my lovely bride of 5 years across the threshold and into our new home! Rachel has certainly taken this house and turned it into a beautiful home. We want everyone to know that this is the Lord’s house, and if you ever make it up this way we would love to have you stop in for a visit. If you desire to correspond with us, you can reach us at the following address: 1109 Brookhill Road, Peoria, IL 61615.
Some have asked very good questions since we have come off the road. I would like to take to take this time to give you a question and answer from both myself and my wife using the same questions that many have asked us.
Question #1: “Do you guys miss traveling on the road and preaching/singing in churches?”
(Justyn) “In many ways, I would have to say, yes. I do miss traveling on the road and preaching in churches, but I love the opportunity that God has given us to be able to minister in a local area of the United States.”
(Rachel) “I do miss the people we were able to minister to all across the country, as many have become like family to us~ but I don’t miss the long drives in the car too much!” :)
Question #2: “What are the two biggest things that you miss the most about traveling in the itinerant ministry of Evangelism?”
(Justyn) “The two biggest things that I miss about traveling in the itinerant ministry of Evangelism are: 1. The privilege to fellowship with believers all over the world, and 2. The opportunity to see a more frequent moving of God in individuals’ lives through the power of God’s Word.”
(Rachel) “I would have to agree.”
Question #3: “What is it like going from Evangelism to Pastoring?”
(Justyn) “First of all, let me say this. It is always exciting to be in the center of God’s will, wherever that may be. Why? Because it is there you know you are right where God wants you to be. Now, let me answer your question in two ways: 1. The type of stress is different when you move from Evangelism to pastoring. The stress in Evangelism is more on the physical body because of the lifestyle you lead, but the stress of pastoring effects one more in the emotional/mental side of things. Either way, we have learned to run to God and rest in the power of Jesus Christ to overcome stress in either of these areas. 2. Pastoring allows for more of a consistent schedule. Unless there are certain situations I need to address, I can be consistent about when I go to sleep and when I wake up. I can be consistent in knowing how many times I’m going to preach over the course of the next month. I can have consistent Bible study and prayer times. What I’m trying to say is there’s more consistency in my lifestyle since is have started pastoring.”
(Rachel) “Yes, there is definitely more consistency, and I know my body appreciates having a more consistent schedule. I love being able to invest in people on a regular basis and get to see the results instead of seeing God move in individual lives then have to move on to the next meeting. We have started a Bible study in a lady’s home and it is just precious to see the growth in her from when we started.”
Question #4 “Do you ever think God will ever put you back into a traveling ministry?”
(Justyn) “I’m not trying to use a cop-out, but I’m really trying to “take no thought for the morrow” as Jesus said. The only thing I can really say is this, when God says go, I want to go. Now, whether that is the mission field, traveling in evangelism, or another pastorate, that is up to the Lord. We just want to do His will, but until then, if there is a then, we have the mentality that we are going to be here for the long-haul.”
(Rachel) “We just want God’s will. If that is staying here at Crossroads Baptist Church till Jesus comes back or traveling across the globe, we want to be right in the center of His will, for that is where God can and will get the glory through our lives.”
I know that this was a different type of letter, but I sure hope it was a blessing to you. Once again, if you have any questions or comments that you would like to bring our way, you can write us at the address above, or you can email me at [email protected]
We sure hope that this letter finds you doing very well. We want you know that we greatly appreciate your church and everything that you guys have done for us in the past. We understand that your gracious giving and prayers have kept us going on the road for the Lord, and for that we say a big THANK YOU! One of these days, we shall meet again... whether here, there, or in the air~ and if in the air it will be wonderful to gather around the Throne with all the precious souls that God has reached through unworthy vessels like us! Thank you for the privilege of laboring together with you for the cause of Jesus Christ.