Pastor Smokie Norful
spent the early portion of his
life in Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
later moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he
attended Jack Robey Junior High and Pine Bluff High School
He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a bachelor's degree in history.
also received formal training in ministry at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
in Evanston, Ill., and Trinity International Seminary
in Deerfield, Ill., where he
studied to achieve a master's of divinity.
He served as a history teacher for seven years at Jack Robey Junior High School, Pine Bluff High School (Pine Bluff, Ark.) and Evanston Township High School (Evanston, Ill.) respectively.
Additionally Rev. Norful served for two years as the educational director for the Pine Bluff Housing Authority's after-school program.
Other notable vocational experiences include, but are not limited to, his
service as a historian for the National Park Service
and a congressional aid for the fourth congressional district.
He currently serves on the board of Regents for Trinity International University.
He was ordained an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal church and has been a licensed preacher since 1997.
Rev. Norful served as youth pastor, minister of music, and associate minister of St. John AME church in Pine Bluff, under the leadership of Rev. W.R. Norful Sr., and Teresa Norful until relocating to Chicago.
In addition, on September 28, 2008, Pastor Norful
launched a second campus on the south side of Chicago.
Since its launch, they have witnessed a similar dynamic growth and a phenomenal move of God.
He is an internationally renowned musician, music composer, and recording artist.
debut compact discs entitled I Need You Now and Smokie Norful Limited
Edition have garnered favorable accolades and awards across the world, including the 2005 Grammy Award for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album of the Year for his
release entitled, Nothing Without You; three Stellar awards; four Dove awards; three Gospel Music Excellence Awards; an image award nomination; a Soul Train award nomination; two nominations for the BET award for gospel music; two RIAA certified Gold selling compact discs; and countless others.
has contributed as a writer to five platinum selling compilations, and has written for numerous major label gospel recordings.
named him the number one selling gospel music artist for 2003 and 2004.
notable performances include such events as the Trumpet Awards, Save Africa's Children Event in Soweto, the BET Awards, the Stellar Awards, Soul Train, hosting and performing on the Dove Awards, the Parade of Stars, the Essence Music Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival and numerous other notable festivals, events, concert halls, and tours.
also had the esteemed honor of performing for President George W. Bush in the White House, in celebration of Black Music Month.
wife, Carla (former school teacher and social worker), own and operate four businesses in real estate, entertainment, and publishing.
However, despite the demands as an artist, writer, entrepreneur, businessman, and pastor, what he
cherishes most is cultivating a loving relationship with his
wife, spending time nurturing their two sons, Tré and Ashton, and empowering his