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Mason Smith

Students Minister

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About Mason

I was raised in Plano in a family that valued church attendance at a theologically left-of-center Methodist church. I was kind of an odd duck of a kid and was as ADHD as they come. Probably more to the credit of attention deficit than lack of trying, I don’t remember hearing the Gospel before middle school.

At the start of sixth grade, my mom suggested my twin brother and I start attending my middle school’s FCA huddle. The coaches and teacher, and the students who came every week, invited me in and pursued me with intention. On a retreat in the spring of that year, sitting around a campfire at a ranch in east Texas, God used a group of 8th-grade student leaders to share the gospel with me. My mind and spirit were given over to Jesus at that moment, but my heart and lifestyle would need a longer journey.

Around the same time, I was first exposed to pornography and quickly developed a dependency. It was through this path of sin that I started to see that the things I was attracted to were not the same as most boys my age. I’m not sure if I could have placed the label on it then, but I was dealing with what would become a lifelong struggle with same-sex attraction. This was a difficult thing for a middle-school-aged boy to process through, particularly one so new to the things of Jesus. I was profoundly confused about who I was, who I was supposed to be, and lacked a robust theology of sexuality. I spent years begging God to change my attractions all the while feeding disordered desires, first through porn, and, by the end of high school, in anonymous hookup culture. 

Outwardly, I was well known for my faith, and for a deep knowledge of the scriptures but inwardly, I was isolated and in necrotic decay. I was as the Pharisees were when Jesus rebuked them—a whitewashed tomb. Things only worsened during my freshman year at Baylor. The newfound freedom of college led to a deepening of the profoundly double life I was leading.

In God’s kindness, he convicted me of my sin. The Holy Spirit gripped my heart and I knew I could not persist in the choices I was making. I continued in them anyways for several months after that, until the weight of conviction became too much to bear, and I repented—but didn’t confess to anyone. I continued to struggle quietly, until that summer when I worked at sky ranch, where I had been a camper as a kid. After hearing someone share their story with a transparent boldness I had never seen, I went back to my cabin and told my co-counselors everything—and it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I almost immediately began to experience a depth of intimacy with God and others I had never really opened myself to before. At first, it scared me, but in time, I grew to treasure that deep love. 

I returned to Baylor that fall and went about the process of confessing to my community that I had deceived them about who I was and what I was struggling with. In God’s kindness, they received me in love and grace, seasoned with an understandable amount of accountability and correction. 

A handful of older men started to disciple me and call out gifts they saw in me. I had to spend years unlearning a deeply pharisaical heart, and I am far from perfect there. After graduating from Baylor with a Bachelors in Religion with a focus in New Testament, I started working at the church in Waco where I was sharpened and matured throughout college. In January of 2023, I made the transition back to Dallas and joined the team here at Citizens.

My Hope for Citizens Church

My hope for Citizens Church is that we would be a deeply formed people enamored with the presence and power of God. I am praying that as we grow together into the head that is Christ, we would become a people of profound love and spirit-filled witness that demands a response and offers peace and truth to a broken and weary world searching desperately for meaning.

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