Introducing Kirk And Joely Smith
Kirk and Joely Smith have been married since 1991. Kirk graduated from Greenville College, teaching and coaching for two years at the high school level before founding the House of Prayer church in Albion, IL, which he pastored for almost 25 years. Joely graduated from the University of Southern Indiana and taught first grade for two years before the birth of their first child after which she stayed home.
Even though they were both trained as public educators, Kirk and Joely committed to home schooling before their children were even born. They both felt there was no way to fully flesh out Deuteronomy 6 if their children were gone 8-10 hours a day from home. Their home schooling journey has evolved, by the grace of God, from a model of “public schooling at home” to a lifestyle of home discipleship.
As a couple, the Smiths sensed a responsibility to share their vision with others. They led a county homeschool network, which served upwards of fifty families in one capacity or another for 15 years. They also mentored numerous young couples in their early years of marriage and home schooling. The cornerstone of their home discipleship vision is the deepest conviction that it is through the fear of the Lord that both knowledge and wisdom are imparted, and it is through seeking God’s kingdom first that all the secondary considerations are added. This shared perspective with ICHE is what motivated Kirk to accept the position of Executive Director.
Kirk and Joely live in Bone Gap with their 11 children: Kashaiah (18), Gracelyn (17), Kanah (15), Elly (14), Kohen (12), Gideon "Digger" (10), Kreisson (9), Zanan (7), Zaken (5), Heritage (3) and Engedi (1). Bone Gap is a small community in southeastern Illinois – a strategic location that will help ICHE strengthen ties in the southern part of the state. They are looking forward to building new relationships and spreading the home discipleship vision of ICHE to all corners of Illinois.