Dennine Smith Executive Director

Dennine Smith joined Coordinated Assistance Ministries in November of 2019. The Virginia native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and later earned a Master of Public Health degree from Liberty University located in Lynchburg,Virginia.

Dennine’s work experiences include case management in both the public and private sectors. She has worked with families and individuals making eligibility determinations for government programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. In addition, she has worked as a case manager at the Indiana Department of Child Services’ Child Abuse Hotline and has worked with families who have had involvement with the Department of Child Services assisting them with finding community resources to stabilize the family.

Prior to accepting her current role with CAM, Dennine worked at the Indiana State Department of Health as the Adolescent Health Administrator. This role involved managing grants, partnering with other youth serving professionals and organizations to implement initiatives, engaging in quality improvement projects and collaborating with other divisions at Indiana State Department of Health to explore strategies for addressing public health needs.

Given Dennine’s background in case management and public health, CAM enables her to utilize skills and knowledge that she has gained from both experiences. Healthy People 2020 defines social determinants of health as “Conditions in the environments in which people live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” When individuals face homelessness or unstable housing, their quality of life outcomes are impacted negatively and so housing is a public health concern.

Mrs. Smith has engaged in training on topics including mental health, health equity, cultural competency, leadership, and addiction. She is passionate about examining systems and their impact on marginalized populations as well as creating opportunities to empower and equip individuals and families to transform their lives.

Faith is central in Dennine’s life. She believes in the power of prayer. She enjoys serving as a Sunday School teacher, participating in a missionary group, and serving as coordinator for a bi-annual women’s conference at her church. She treasures time with family and friends, enjoys traveling, cheering for the Indiana Pacers, and spending time enjoying the scenery at local parks.

Dennine currently serves on the Healthy Families Advisory Board, the Prevent Child Abuse Howard County Church Committee, and the Jackson Street Commons Advisory Board. Throughout her career, she has received recognition for her leadership and service in the communities in which she has lived. Most recently, she received a challenge coin from Chief Master Sergeant Rochelle Hemingway, command chief at Ellsworth Air Force Base for her work in the community.

We anticipate building upon the history of CAM as we look towards our future.

Ruth Lawson Founder Of CAM

I grew up with loving and secure family of mom, dad, brother, and sister. My father was a minister who started churches, and life was lived “Only That Which Is Eternal Shall Last.” We always had extra people living in our home – loving and ministry were as natural as breathing. I had no idea, until I moved out into the “real world,” that my life was not the norm – no harshness or abuse.

We lived in Ashland, Allen, and Wheelwright, Kentucky; Sarasota, Florida; and Lincoln Park, Michigan.

At age eleven, I began playing piano/organ in Church and began playing piano for a Spanish Mission in a condemned building in Detroit at the age of 13. At age sixteen, I read “The Cross and the Switchblade” and knew someday, the Lord would have me in the ministry of CAM.

My husband, Bob Lawson, and I were married in 1967. We have lived in Jefferson City, Tennessee; McCook, Nebraska; Louisville, Kentucky; Sullivan and Jeffersonville, Indiana before moving to Kokomo, Indiana. We have adopted three sons – Steve, Dakota, and Kyle. We have helped raise some 34 kids (mostly teenagers) and have had others live with us.

I began college at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee and finish at the University of Louisville, School of Music, in Kentucky. Graduate classes have been from Indiana State in Terre Haute, IN; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville; and Membership Certification in TA.

Beginning 1975, I have been Minister of Music and Youth at First Baptist Jeffersonville, Indiana; Minister of Music, Youth, and Christian Education at First Baptist Kokomo; and Organist at Market Street Methodist Church in Logansport, Indiana. From 1991 to 2017, Bob and I were Co-Pastors of Liberty Baptist Church, in Groomsville, Indiana.

In 1976, I helped found the Ministerial Jail Visitation Committee in Jeffersonville, Indiana; 1984, the MUFF – Ministerial Utility Fuel Fund in Howard County; and in May 1993, began CAM – Coordinated Assistance Ministries, Inc. In 2015, began Tipton CAM, Inc.

My ordination is with American Baptist Churches USA, and my memberships are in the Howard County Ministerial Association and Kokomo Musicale.

Luke 12:48b says “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” The privilege and blessing of working at CAM is a wonderful gift from God, and my personal scripture verse is found in John 10:10 – “I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” This is my prayer for all who pass through and serve at CAM.