JoAnne Smith Hooks holds a master's degree in theology. A native of Marianna, Arkansas born to a family of twenty siblings, she is the tenth child of sharecropper-parents, Wesley and Willie Mae Smith. At the age of seven, she cried out to God and sought answers about her education. She was permitted to go to school on the rainy days only because she had to work alongside her parents in the cotton-fields. When she was eleven years old, she heard the voice of the Lord, but she did not understand the call at that time. She fully surrendered her life to the Lord at a noonday prayer meeting, seventeen years later, when she heard the voice of God once again. God then sent Jesus to lay hands upon her and He told her, "I have anointed you to preach the gospel." Not once, but twice in that same hour, hands were laid upon her and she was filled with the Holy Ghost all in one day!
She rejoiced: "What a glorious experience, a day I will never forget!"