James Crawford

Nick Crawford

Elder, Lead Pastor

Life Story

I grew up in a wonderful family with the church as the epicenter. My parents faithfully served the church, and their example deeply formed my love for the church. As a result, faith and good activity were simply inseparable in my mind. Soon, I began to confuse doing good with my own worth. I worked hard to prove myself academically, athletically, and by always showing up at my best. Over time, my efforts were rewarded. I just had to keep it up. While my activity may have appeared good by some worldly standard, my life was marked by hollow goodness. My faith was in my own doing, not in Jesus. 

This trend continued until the Lord sent Kristen, a brilliant and beautiful medical student, into my life to show me that true faith is not in our hands, but in the perfect work of Another. She gave me a Bible and a one-year reading plan. I resolved to read it through in half the time to impress her, but the Lord was impressing Himself upon me. The Word came alive, and I awakened to see His hand in the world and in my life. God opened my heart to hear the gospel, and I began to see that even the best of my work was worthless and that my salvation was proven through the perfect work of Jesus Christ. I had nothing to prove anymore. 

After several years of law practice, the Lord began calling me to surrender my career to Him and opened a door to vocational ministry at Fondren Church in Jackson, Mississippi. I got serious about gospel-centered discipleship, and by God’s grace, I saw the Lord turn hearts to Him while He filled my hollow work with real substance and meaning. For 10 years, the Lord deepened my love for the church and fully integrated my faith, family, friends, and work. Kristen and I are ever grateful to the Lord for giving us deep roots, and we imagined we would be there for good.

Late in 2021, I received a phone call with a “wild idea” of moving to Texas. Kristen and I brought our children, Coy and Kennedy Vale, to explore this idea at The Village Church. We didn't feel like outsiders. Somehow, it felt like home. God was working in our hearts to begin uprooting us and calling us to surrender “home” to Him too. As the King of our lives, our “yes” is to Him, and He is always faithful. We are humbled to join the work He is doing, and we look forward to the potential of the future.

Hope for The Village Church

My hope is that we would be a people so formed and fueled by the gospel of Jesus Christ that the outsider would be drawn out of the darkness and into the welcoming arms of a true family.