James is a native of Blakely, GA and is a 1999 graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, GA. He was in the top of his class and served as his Senior Class President. He has worked in the funeral industry for over 35 years and holds both licenses as a Funeral Director and Embalmer in North Carolina and Georgia. Both license are extremely important to James, because of the "spirit of excellence" that he operates under. He knows the family we serve will consistently receive the excellent and professional funeral directing and embalming service that they have become accustomed to expect from Smith-Holloway. James' reputation precedes him in the funeral industry as one of the best embalmers in the country. He is a 1988 graduate of Albany Tech, Albany, GA, majoring in Electrical Engineering and graduated with the highest academic honor - Suma Cum Laude. James is also a Notary Public.
His wife, Karen, is a native of Goldsboro, NC and a graduate of GHS Class of 1978. She attended Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC and completed her Bachelors of Arts Degree majoring in Office Administration/Accounting in 1982. She is also a 2010 graduate of Fayetteville Technical College, Fayetteville, NC - NC Funeral Directors Program. Karen is an Ordained Minister and operates as a Pastor, Evangelist, and Teacher for over 25 years. She is a Licensed Insurance Agent, Instructor for American Red Cross, Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics, and President of Be Blessed Boutique LLC - a unique christian gift/apparel shop, located inside of the funeral home and a second loctation in downtown Goldsboro. She is the President of her high school - Class of 1978.
James and Karen's ministry of Evangelism and Outreach, is in the forefront of everything that they do. They understand that they have been Divinely called in the death care industry and that it is the vehicle and platform that God has called them to operate in. Their main focus is to first, minister to the needs of the families at the time of the passing of their loved ones and help make the transition a little easier. And secondly, bridge gaps in churches, businesses, and communities to bring about love, unity, and peace in the Body of Christ.
James and Karen are the proud parents of one daughter, Kayla, 23, who graduated from Johnston Community College, May 2016 with an AA Degree and will complete her BS Degree, May 2020 from NC A&T, in Business Management. In the fall of 2019, she became a Licensed Insurance Agent and will be working with the funeral home.