Our team

  • Jennifer SmithExecutive Director

    Jennifer was born and raised in Odessa, Texas attended Texas Tech University for undergrad and University of Texas Health Science Center for her Master’s of Physical Therapy and has called San Antonio and Boerne home for 19 years. She and her husband have been married for 19 years and have four children, two biological and two adopted from foster care.

    Back in 2005, Jennifer thought she had her life planned. Amazing husband, two beautiful daughters and career as a Physical Therapist. An article in the paper about a young girl whose life was wrecked by abuse and neglect and subsequent moves through multiple homes in foster care lit a fire in her heart to “Do something!” After 2 months of prayer discussion with foster families, she and Kyle accepted the call to serve as foster parents in 2006 for children in crisis right here in their community. The foster parent journey was incredible isolating and overwhelming and subsequently a small group started meeting together to not only support each other but brainstorm how to get the church involved. During the next 8 years, while serving as a foster mom to children in the San Antonio area, Jennifer established and co-lead the Grace Point Foster and Adopt ministry for 5 years. Under her leadership for 5 years, Grace Point families fostered over 75 kids, adopted 27 and raised up 40 new foster families.

    During this time, Jennifer shared the model pioneered at Grace Point with 8 area churches with continued success and opportunity to refine the model. She also helped create and launch a faith based foster agency focused on serving families in the church. Her heart continued to burn to see all churches made aware of the crisis, equipped to start foster/adopt ministries, collaborating with complementary organizations and activating all Christians to do their part. The South Texas Alliance for Orphans grew organically over those years with interest slowly but continually growing. In 2016, God connected Jennifer with First Presbyterian Church leaders, who, seeing the great opportunity to serve children in crisis by activating the church, seeded the Alliance funds to launch as a true functioning nonprofit organization. Since 2016, the growth of the Alliance has exceeded even the most ambitious goals.

    Through the Alliance, the church is now growing in awareness, being enable to activate with a proven ministry model and collaborating to serve along the full continuum of care for children and families.

    The Smith’s also provide ongoing support to a kinship family of a previous foster placement. Her crew loves Mexican food, hill country scenery and spending summer days at the lake swimming, tubing, skiing and relaxing.

  • Bethann JacksonOperations Coordinator

    Bethann and her husband, Chad, were both raised in Northwest Missouri and lived there until moving to San Antonio in 2012.  Bethann attended Northwest Missouri State University pursing a degree in Special Education.  She served 10 years in the United States Air Force before choosing to stay at home to parent three amazing kids.  In the midst of a busy life, she knew her family was not complete.  God reminded her of the seed He planted while visiting a rundown orphanage on a youth mission trip in 1996.  This was when Bethann first felt God calling her to serve orphans.  After years of praying about where they should adopt God made it clear as they moved to Texas, there was a significant orphan need in their own backyard.

    Bethann connected with the Grace Point Foster and Adopt Ministry shortly after their move to Texas.  Her family became a certified foster home in the spring of 2013. They have since fostered 5 little girls, 3 or them drug exposed infants. In October 2014 one of those little angels became a permanent Jackson!  Bethann has served on the leadership team of the Grace Point Foster and Adopt Ministry since 2014 and volunteers with local organizations equipping foster families.  She works closely with families who have foster babies that have been exposed to drugs and helps foster families build healthy relationships with biological families. Bethann also serves weekly on the Registration Team at Grace Point Church West.

    Bethann is excited to officially re-enter the work force as the Operations Coordinator for the Alliance.  She hopes her gifts in organization and support can further the Foster movement in South Texas.

  • Melanie McCrackenExecutive Assistant

    Melanie was born and raised in Denton, Texas. She attended Texas Tech University for her undergraduate and graduate studies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education.

    Melanie met her husband in college and they have been married for 12 years. She and her husband have lived in San Antonio for 11 years and in January of 2011 planted Alamo Ranch Community Church, where her husband is the lead pastor.

    Melanie and Michael have five children, two biological and three adopted from foster care. Upon moving to San Antonio, Melanie taught for Northside ISD for 7 years before resigning to begin the foster care journey.

    The Lord called the McCracken family to foster/adopt in 2013 after years of infertility, secondary infertility, and a unique experience with one of her students. Through their own foster/adopt journey, they have had the opportunity to encourage others within their church body to answer the call as well. They have been deeply humbled and forever changed. Melanie has a deep passion for the children in foster care in San Antonio and beyond. She began working with the Alliance in the Spring of 2017 and is excited to see all the Lord is going to do in this city until there are more than enough families!

  • David JordanChurch Engagement Specialist

    David was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Park University for his undergrad in Social Psychology. He is currently pursuing his graduate studies in Public Administration with a Certification in Administration and Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations from The University Of Texas At San Antonio,(UTSA). David and his family moved to San Antonio, Texas in January 2006.

    In December 1989, David answered the call to service and joined the U.S. Air Force. His career spanned twenty-five years in law enforcement. He completed numerous assignments both stateside and overseas as well as multiple combat tours in Bosnia Herzegovina, Iraq and South East Asia during operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

    After retirement in 2014, David continued his calling as a servant leader, by serving as the President of his Home Owners Association, is an active member of The American Legion Post #336 and is on the board of directors for local nonprofit charities that support children’s issues. David currently serves as Vice Chairman Of Voices For Children of San Antonio and serves on the Clergy Community Advisory Group.

    In 2015, David entered public service, when he was elected to the Leon Valley City Council. Councilman Jordan graduated from the Texas Municipal League Leadership Academy and received the 2016 TML Leadership Fellow Award. In March 2016, David was recognized as the Elected Public Official of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers Alamo Region.

    David spent his entire childhood in foster care. He realizes it’s by God’s grace he overcame life’s obstacles to become the leader God is created him to be.

    David believes a child’s past does not dictate their future. Children in foster care do not need a handout, but a hand up. They need a true friend to show love, patience, persistence and faithful prayers. David is honored to join the South Texas Alliance for Orphans to raise awareness of the crisis, equip the church to serve and ensure every child has a home!

  • Maren BakerChurch Engagement Specialist

    Maren was born and raised in Texas, attended the University of Texas at San Antonio for her undergraduate in Kinesiology and a Minor in Psychology. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 13 years, has two biological daughters and one adopted son.

    Back in 2012, Maren and her husband began to pray about serving children in need. They researched all the forms of adoption and initially felt called to pursue adoption Internationally because foster care seemed “crazy” to them. They chose what they believed to be the safer route. after 6 months into the process to adopt internationally they were informed that the county they had chosen and paid lots of money to, had closed their doors to American’s wanting to adopt children without special needs. At that time, Aaron and Maren felt like they were not equipped to adopt a child with special needs and be able to continue meeting the needs of their biological children. Aaron and Maren stepped back and prayed about their next steps as they both knew this calling for caring for the least of these was still heavily burdened on their hearts.

    After a few days of seeking the Lord’s direction, they were clearly led to foster care. Two years later, they adopted their son, Jesse Baker. Although they didn’t feel they were qualified or capable of caring for a child with special needs, the Lord had different plans. Their son Jesse was diagnosed with a Chromosome Micro-Deletion Syndrome at 18 months old. Aaron and Maren closed their home for 3 years as they adjusted to their new family makeup. In August 2018 their home was re-opened and they continue to foster children in their community.

    A mutual friend introduced Maren to Jennifer Smith who helped her start a Foster/ Adopt Ministry at her home church in Boerne, Nineteen: Ten Church. Jennifer became a close friend who has mentored Maren through many years of learning how to navigate fostering and how to remain trusting in the Lord’s sovereignty. Later, Maren went to work for Child Protective Services as a legal worker where she served her home county and surrounding counties for 2 years before leaving to be the Foster Home Developer at 1HOPE for Kids. She received her Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner Certification in April 2019 and is incredibly passionate about serving families and children in need.

  • Jocelyn WilsonChurch Engagement Specialist

    Jocelyn and her husband Ricky were both raised in San Antonio, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.

    In 2004, Jocelyn and Ricky married and she began teaching 6th grade. After having two biological children, Noah and Naomi, she became a stay at home mom. They spent five years in Dallas and during that time God began to put fostering on their hearts. In 2011, Ricky’s company moved them to San Antonio. They began attending Grace Point Church where a Foster and Adopt Ministry was just kicking off.

    In Spring of 2012, the Wilsons trained and became a licensed foster home. They welcomed their first foster baby in May of that year and have been fostering ever since. With long placements leading to family reunification over the years, Jocelyn has become very passionate about partnering with the birth families to make transitioning children home successful. She has become a mentor and friend to families and continues relationship past the reunification process.

    Ricky and Jocelyn have also adopted three children in the last three years: Faith, Hope, and Paxton! Jocelyn helps lead the Foster and Adopt ministry at Grace Point Church now and is excited to help other churches develop thriving ministries so that every child coming in to care can have a Christian family to love them.