Truth First exists to help Christians prosper in their God-given calling. We are a support system for larger Christian-missioned organizations who are purposed in their work to glorify God.
We provide education at a group level, coaching and counseling at an individual level, as well as consulting in corporate and organizational strategy and leadership management. Through our support, Christian-minded organizations can thrive in their internal environment and maximize their external influence.
Individual guidance (for corporate guidance, click here)
Every one of us has been equipped perfectly for a purposeful life (Jeremiah 1:5). True joy and authenticity come from wholeheartedly living that life. This requires understanding God's will for us, and steadfastly walking in that purpose despite setbacks, barriers, worldly limitations, and fears. When our lives align to God's purpose, we are free from the trappings of short-term gains, worldly acclaim, and socially guided impositions on our lives.
Truth First will help you discern God's will for you, and provide tools and discussion to enable a deeper, more personal walk with God. Monthly seminars will also be held in the Wallingford-Swarthmore area.
Are you ready to be set free and to live the life you were called to - for yourself, for the world around you, and for God's glory?
"Then you will know the truth
and the truth will set you free"
About Pastor Stephen Smickley
My Christian heart
The apostle Paul describes the riches of Christ as “unfathomable” (Ephesians 3:8). To me it is difficult to select “one” life verse out of an infinite source of truth. However, when I was a brand-new believer in Christ, the woman, who would become my wife, gave me a bible as a gift, and in it she had highlighted Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Four decades later, that verse still stirs my heart with dreams, and challenges the intent of my actions. Like the Apostle Paul, I too am captivated by the limitless depth of God’s grace and love. My desire is to grow in intimacy with Christ each day and to live a life that would glorify Him. My greatest joy comes from seeing people grow in their love and knowledge of Christ. My life feels most fulfilled when I help move someone just a little further along the path towards true intimacy with God. When the Holy Spirit enables me to strip away all the idols that battle for a place in my heart (and there are many), I’m left with the desire to know God and to make Him known.
My early life
I was born and raised in lower Bucks County Pennsylvania. In my senior year of high school I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and a few months later I was off to basic training. After completing a battery of intelligence and aptitude assessments a wide range of opportunities opened up, one being the naval nuclear power program. Two of my seven years in this program were on the Fast-Attack Submarine, the USS Haddock (SSN-621). It was on the Haddock that my life took a new direction! I quickly became good friends with my shipmate, Vincent “Duff” Bottorff - a gregarious joy-filled Christian from the Mid-west. Duff led me to Christ in a bible study one Friday night in 1982. A week later he led me to a beautiful, brown-eyed, California girl named Kristen. Just 18 months later (about half of which I spent at sea - underwater) we were married! I owe a lot to Duff!
My ministry background
Following my service in the Navy, Kristen and I moved to Sacramento, CA and became involved in planting a church. I did ministry training and began leading ministries and preaching in my mid-twenties. In 1989 the Lord relocated our family to the East coast to help plant another church in Gloucester County NJ. In 1993 we joined a small team to launch another church in Delaware County, PA, Calvary Chapel, which became our ministry home for 25 years. Our first Sunday service had around 30 people, which grew over two decades to a church of 2000. My time as a pastor with Calvary Chapel afforded me opportunity and experience beyond my wildest dreams (Psalm 37:4). Now, in my next phase, I am called to feed into the next generation of leaders through organizational coaching and pastoral counseling. This work has me visit with local churches as well non-profit ministries and Christ-centered for-profit organizations.
My home life
I live in Wilmington, DE, with my wife Kristen. We have two adult children. Our son Sheldon lives in Brooklyn, NY and our daughter Lyssi lives in Chadds Ford, PA with her husband Chris. Kristen and I love to walk the trails in the Delaware state parks, and boating on the Chesapeake bay.
About Dr Andrea LaFountain
My Christian heart
I have several life verses, but perhaps one of my favorites is "He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in in His quiver" (Isaiah 49:2). God's word tells me that we are each designed with intention, with purpose, with direction in mind. This verse also tells me that God spent time crafting me to perfection for the work He has for me. It also tells me that He is the one to launch me in that direction, in His timing, when His mighty hand reaches back to pull me out from the safety of His side. And it reassures me that if I don't fight or resist His timing, and His purpose, that with Him as the Archer, I am sure to hit the target - dead center. It does not tell me that the world we live in throws other targets in front of me, and has other hands vying to pull me out of the quiver - but other verses reveal that truth to me (e.g. 1 Peter 5:8) and my eyes and ears tell me that every day that I live in this world. It is my desire, that we are all enabled to surrender to God the Father, as we go further into sanctification, through the Word of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
My early life
I was born in Manchester, England, and moved to Donegal, Ireland when I was 8 years old. I went to a Gaeltacht (all Irish speaking) elementary school, a convent high school, and then moved to war-torn Belfast to University. I received a Bachelor's of Science degree, and Masters of Science degree, both in Applied Psychology, at the University of Ulster. I then moved to England to study for a Doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience at The University of Liverpool. I became a Christian during this time. The mind is a fascinating creation, and with new eyes from which to study it, I am even more undone at how unfathomable we, and our thinking minds, are. Also during this time in England I had the good fortune of meeting a wonderful man of God from Philadelphia. Of course we fell in love! We got married in Ireland, then I emigrated to the USA in 2000.
My teaching background
I've been teaching for over 25 years, beginning in the poverty-stricken housing estates in politically volatile Belfast. I have taught all ages from small groups of ages 2-3, to undergraduate, post-graduate to mature business professionals. The majority of my academic teaching has been undergraduate and postgraduate courses in psychology, statistics and cognitive science. In the US, my teaching has focused largely on professional business with teachings at small private venues (e.g. The Union League) to large international conferences (e.g. Healthcare World Summit), universities (e.g Wharton), hospitals (e.g. The Cleveland Clinic) and government. By the grace of God, I was able to write a book "How Patients Think" that has been very beneficial in helping the healthcare industry re-strategize its transformation. More recently my teaching has focused on faith-based seminars from small group studies to larger retreat efforts.
My home life
I live in Wallingford, PA, with my husband Andy, and our five children Matthew, Adam, James, Simon and Molly, and our two schnauzers Trixie and Truly. It's generally chaotic, and hard work, but with the grace of God, we all manage to get along and get done what we need to get done.