Rev Leslie Smith
Before Leslie’s call to community service, he received BA degrees in Management and Marketing from Southern University. After graduating he left Louisiana and moved to Houston, TX to work for Safeway. In 1982, while working his way up the corporate ladder, Leslie had a life altering dream. Today he still passionately tells of this dream, this divine premonition, of buying crack houses in a low-income neighborhood, renovating them, and offering services out of those houses to a mass of people. These people were so desperate and in need of the services and resources he was offering were lined up for miles and miles; because they knew if they could get in, they would leave changed. After working in “corporate America,” for over 10 years, he responded to this dream and higher calling by founding Families Under Urban and Social Attack (FUUSA), now Change Happens!.
Change Happens! (formerly FUUSA) was originally founded as an alcohol and drug prevention/intervention and outpatient treatment program. In the early ‘90’s Leslie worked vigilantly to rehabilitate and provide services and resources to individuals affected by substance abuse, not only through the organization, but by personally going out into neighborhoods, counseling and mentoring to those in need and of little hope. Today there are over 50 staff members assisting Rev. Smith in making his dream a reality.
For over 20 years, Rev. Leslie Smith has been a community activist and leader, working with, for and along side of people in various communities in Houston. As Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Change Happens!, he manages the day-to-day operations of the agency, supervising the administration of all programs. He also serves as liaison between Change Happens! and Funding Agencies and handles all public/community relations activities. Although his role as CEO is very demanding, Leslie makes a special point to participate hands-on in the events and programs offered by Change Happens! such as: Change Happens!’s Kids’ University and Children’s Health Day.
In addition, to his work with Change Happens! and other local community service organization, Rev. Smith is very active with his church. He currently serves at the Mt. Arrart Baptist Church as an Associate Minister. He also has served as Director of the following ministries: New Member Orientation, Counseling Ministry, Singles Ministry and the Married Ministry. In this capacity, he supervised from time to time, some 200-350 volunteers.