Our Mentors

Fred Smith

Fred Smith is a graduate of Denver University and Harvard Divinity School. Fred spent several years as teacher and administrator at Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina and The Stony Brook School in New York before moving to Tyler and joining Bob Buford in founding Leadership Network, where he served as President for 12 years. Fred was also the Founder of Fourth Partner, a local foundation that was focused on philanthropy and community development within the East Texas area. Additionally, Fred is the Founder and President of The Gathering, connecting an international community of givers focused on the support of Christian Ministries. His good friend Steve Garber of The Washington Institute has said this about Fred's work. “…he has read widely and cared deeply, resisting the easy black-and-white responses that most of us are all-too-willing to live with…his personal beliefs do not find a home in the partisan politics we know so well. And over time, he has earned the trust of good people all over the country.” Despite a lifetime of accomplishment, Fred will tell you his true vocation is that of a Sunday School teacher and it is this role for which he would most like to be remembered. Fred and his wife, Carol, have two grown daughters and a son-in-law. They also have three well-loved grandchildren.