John & Jo Ann 2012
John & Jo Ann Sweet
Executive Director
 John Sweet serves as Executive Director of Heart of Florida Youth Ranch and as a field consultant to orphanages and children's ministries for Church of God World Missions. His experience working with troubled children and the caregiving parents provides a unique perspective of experience and competence for parental training and counsel. 

John, with his wife, Jo Ann, led the Green Meadow Church of God in Alcoa, Tenn., for 20 years. In 1995, they developed a foster care ministry out of that church. The Sweet’s have been involved in recruiting and training caregiving parents for 20 years. In 2002, the foster care program moved to the Smoky Mountain Children's Home in Sevierville, where he became Program Director in 2007. The program served about 180 children daily and nearly 500 a year. Well over 100 children were adopted during Sweet's tenure.

With the needs and numbers of hurting children growing ever larger, the need for training and support regarding the traumatic impact of abuse and loss has become vital. Sweet is the author of the book, Healing for a Hurting World: Five Steps to Behavioral Change, which serves as a training manual and resource for childcare and Christian education workers. During his tenure as program director of the Smoky Mountain Children's Home in Sevierville, Tenn., the agency achieved top ratings among similar programs based on professional performance standards. A recently revised edition of his Five Steps book, titled Parenting: The Peacemaking Model, furnishes guidance to parents of troubled children.

In addition to raising awareness and promotion for children's ministries, Sweet provides training, program development, networking, and consultation for the other institutions and agencies. Sweet brings a wide array of experience and a passion for caring for hurting children and those who care for them. He received a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn., where his graduate project focused on care ministry for the 21st century.  He has served as a pastor, foster parent, law enforcement chaplain, crisis intervention specialist with children and families, and served as adjunct faculty for Lee University in the sociology department. He serves as a consultant and advisor to Serving Orphans Worldwide and is a board member for People for Care and Learning, a humanitarian agency working primarily in Southeast Asia.

Hope Begins Here . . .