Bishop Mark Allen Smith is pastor & founder of Greater Ekklesia Ministries, Inc. located in Valdosta, Georgia. He was born to the late Mrs. Ludie Ruth Smith Harris & the late Deacon Cless Leon Shirley, Sr., and raised in Milan, Tennessee by his guardian (Aunt) the late Georgia Mae Adkisson, after the death of his mother. He confessed the Christ at the age of 12 and joined Mose Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. He was called into the ministry in April 1989 at the Hour of Power Christian Church in Newmarket, England, under the leadership of Pastor Keith Echols.
He then joined Peoples Missionary Baptist Church in Crestview Florida. While at Peoples MB Church he served as a Deacon, Usher Board President, Youth Department President, Superintendent of Sunday School, and Adult Sunday School Teacher. He began his gospel ministry in November 1992 under the leadership of the late Reverend Sherman Jarrett at Peoples MB Church. He delivered his first gospel message "Behold the Lamb of God" from the gospel according to St. John 1:19-29, at the Grand Hotel Sheraton while on temporary duty to Djibouti, Djibouti, on the continent of Africa. He received his ministerial license to preach the gospel on 12 December 1993 at the hand of the Reverend George Thomas.
In May 1994, they relocated to Ramstein Air Base Germany where they joined Maranatha Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. Elder Smith served as Adult Sunday School Teacher, Tuesday Night Adult Bible Study Teacher, Director of Missions, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of Finance, and Chief Adjutant. Elder Smith also served as Denominational Service Leader and founded the bimonthly gospel service/bible study at the Mannheim Correctional Facility in Mannheim, Germany from May 1995 to May 1998. In April 1995, Elder Smith enrolled in the Ministerial Effectiveness Leadership Training (M.E.L.T.) curriculum. Elder Smith graduated from the course and received a diploma in July 1996. Elder Smith was licensed under the Church of God in Christ, Inc. in a special service on 1 December 1996 by the Elder Thomas N. Bristow, Jr. pastor of Maranatha Tabernacle. Elder Smith was ordained an Elder in the Church of God in Christ on the 5th day of December 1997, at the hand of Bishop Carlis Lee Moody, Sr. Prelate of the Germany Jurisdiction and International Missions President.
Upon their return to the continental United States, Elder Smith and his family became members of Childress Memorial Church of God in Christ, in San Antonio Texas under the pastorate of the Bishop S.E. Iglehart, Jurisdictional Prelate of Texas Southwest, Church of God in Christ, Inc. Elder Smith served as Youth Pastor.
Due to base closure at Kelly AFB, Elder Smith was transferred to Moody AFB, Valdosta, GA. After prayerfully seeking God's next move for them, the Lord revealed to begin a ministry in Valdosta. God gave him the vision to begin Greater Ekklesia Ministries, with the foundation built around the scripture found in St. Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye, and believe the gospel." God has placed a "GEM" in the body of Christ. Primarily a teaching ministry, Pastor Smith uses the theme "You Can't Do What You Don't Know." He uses practical lessons to reveal biblical truths.
Pastor Smith retired from Air Force with the rank of Master Sergeant after 25 years. He was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, & Southwest Asia Campaign Medal, just to name a few.
In August 2007, Pastor Smith was elevated to the office of Overseer and General Secretary of Grace Cathedral Christian Fellowship, Incorporated by Apostle Sammy C. Smith, Presiding Prelate. June 2010, at the annual Grace Conference, Apostle Sammy C. Smith announced Overseer Smith's elevation as Bishop-designate. Pastor Smith was consecrated to the office of Bishop during the Regional Grace Gathering Conference in Atlanta on 12 November 2010.
In September 2012, Bishop Smith became the Establishmentarian of Greater Ekklesia Ministries International, providing spiritual covering and covenant with churches in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, and Africa. Bishop Smith has been blessed to travel to 28 countries and has lived in 11 different cities. Truly the Lord has blessed him to come from a small town in Tennessee and see the world!!!
Not only is Pastor Smith involved in full-time ministry at the church, he also believes in higher education, and has completed a B.S. degree in Psychology & a B.S.Ed degree in Workforce Education and Development from Valdosta State University in 2012. He graduated with a Master's degree in Adult Education in May 2015 also from Valdosta State University. Pastor Smith completed an earned Doctor of Theology degree from Midwest Theological University in Jun 2015. In Spring 2017 he began a second doctorate degree in Adult & Career Education. After completing 2 years of the program, due to illness, Bishop Smith had to take a leave of absence.
He has four adult children: Chiquita (Robinson) Ferdinand, Darneshia Smith, Donovan Smith & Damien Smith, and 6 granddaughters, Iysis, Olivia, Eliana, Shamiaya, Lilian & Laliah.