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Special Needs Families Need Special Care


Join Dr. Holmes and she speaks with Dr. David Smith of Joni & Friends about intentional work on strong marriages and family and how the church/faith community can be part of a support for a family with special needs.

Dr. David W. Smith is a 28-year pastoral veteran with advanced training in theology and church and non-profit leadership. David holds a BA in theology and missiology and a Masters of Arts in biblical studies from International Baptist College and Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in church and non-profit leadership and administration from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. David is a certified church consultant with the Society for Church Consulting, a certified marriage facilitator with SYMBIS, and a certified course instructor for Beyond Suffering: A Christian View of Disability Ministry through the Christian Institute on Disability, Joni & Friends International Disability Center.

David approaches living with disability and disability ministry from a unique personal and professional perspective. His more than a quarter-century of pastoral ministry gives him the vantage of understanding the hearts and minds of faith-based sector leaders as “one of their own.” The fact that he’s devoted his life and career to serving people and families living with disabilities through Joni and Friends affords him access to some of the world’s leading minds on serving the disability community. Perhaps more than anything, it’s David’s own family that is the clarion call to serve people living with disabilities. David and his high school sweetheart, now wife of almost 28-years, Heather, have three beautiful children, Sullivan, Abigail, and León. All three of David and Heather’s children live with disabilities. His role as a husband, father, pastor, and disability leader drives David to work toward realizing a world where every person affected by disability finds hope, dignity, and belonging in a welcoming and including church whose culture has been radically transformed by grace, love, and acceptance.

You can find out more about camps and opportunities mentioned in the podcast at

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