For 10 months, the Pastor Search Team invested countless hours and poured through hundreds of quality resumes as a part of this search process. We have listened to numerous sermons, researched, contacted references, conducted dozens of interviews, performed on site visits, and prayed and prayed and prayed again.
 
The Team is as thankful for the journey as for the destination, as each member grew closer to the Lord and to each other in unity. The Team is greatly appreciative of the trust demonstrated by giving them such an enormous assignment. God was faithful, and because of His leadership, the Team unanimously and wholeheartedly recommends Dr. Jeff Crawford to be our next pastor.
Pastor Search Team

 

                BILL BAILEY
“I believe God has been preparing Dr. Crawford not only professionally, but personally, both he and his wife, for Grace. He leads with character and humbleness, and throughout his ministry people have responded with the desire to be led by him.  His love for God’s Word is most evident in his preaching.  For me, God confirmed moving forward with his candidacy upon finally meeting he and his wife, Julie, in person.”
BOB BELL
“Jeff was very engaging.  He taught as he preached.  He proclaimed God’s Truth. He was qualified, sincere, eager, but also focused on his present Teaching and Leadership Pastor position (A quality I very much admired).  Then, like many of my team mates, I was overcome by emotion after our visit.  God had confirmed my thoughts after I realized that only God could put this candidate on our radar! “
JONATHAN GARDNER
“In our interviews, I felt that Jeff was unique.  He was a man I wanted to follow. I fully bought into the ideas he presented in laying out his vision for our church.  He is a real leader and he walks with God.  After our in-person meeting, it was clear to me that he and Julie are the right leaders for Grace, and that the people of Grace will love them.
BILL MATHIS
During the week before  our trip to meet Jeff, I had asked God to show me a sign. The morning we left He put the song “Angel Armies” and “Find us Faithful” on my mind. In the service that next morning Angel Armies was the 1st song and the phrase “Find us Faithful” was used in Jeff’s sermon about crossing the Red Sea. HALLELUJAH Amen!  The same week Mike Thomas prayed that our candidate speak “to us” and “not at us”. In concluding our Saturday evening meeting Tony asked Jeff how we could pray for Sunday. He said pray that I speak TO EVERYONE not AT THEM.  Coincidence, 
I think not.”
SHERBURNE MARTIN

“For reasons unbeknownst to me, at the time, when we reviewed Jeff Crawford’s resume’, I placed a number “1” on his resume. His resume was the first one we received!  I thought candidate # 3 was the choice, but GOD had him to ask for his name to be removed and then there were 2. God confirmed Jeff Crawford was to be GBC’s next Sr. Pastor to me. I was confident that He would confirm His choice with the other team members in His own time frame. Glory to God for His continuous faithfulness!!!”

 

SANDY ROBERTS

“I do not believe the nine of us chose Jeff Crawford to be the next pastor of GBC, God did. I had listened to many sermons but then we made a visit and I heard this man preach a sermon on a subject that was familiar, The Red Sea Crossing.  But he made it come alive for me.  Still I held out.  Finally God spoke loud and clear through a person and a book.  It was almost hand writing on the wall.  I believe with all my heart Jeff Crawford is God’s choice to be the next pastor of Grace.”

 

RAECHEL ELLER
“Even though we couldn’t see what was going to be there in the future, we just walked by faith.  I believe that everyone can say that God has shown us who the next pastor of Grace Baptist will be, and it’s Jeff Crawford!”
CURTIS MCGINNIS
“Dr. Crawford is someone who is very transparent in his love for his church, his love for his staff and his love for his people.”
TONY POINTER
“You could tell through conversations with Dr. Crawford that he has a passion to preach and teach the Word of God. It is evident that he has a strong calling on his life to be a pastor. We knew that there was something very special
about him”
PASTORAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Pastor Steve Farris

Lead Pastor, The Bridge Fellowship

“Jeff and I have been friends for 32 years.  I recommended Jeff because I love Grace and Knoxville.  My experience at Grace was the top place I’ve ever worked, and I think Jeff would be a good fit and that Grace would be good for Jeff. I have a deep respect for Bro. Ron.  I feel that the baton needs to be handed to a seasoned leader, but also someone with the integrity of Ron.  I think Jeff is the perfect match, the perfect one to make a transition to what’s next.  Jeff is Ronnie Floyd’s “right-hand” man at Cross Church and he because of this he has learned from the best.  I’ve never met anyone with higher integrity.  Jeff’s Leadership style is described in three words:  grace, relationship, integrity. “

Rev. Keith Clutts

Worship Pastor, Grand Ave Baptist Church

 “Jeff is only person I’ve ever worked under that I can say that I got something out of the sermon every single Sunday.  Jeff is a good leader who is willing to try new things, and is not afraid if they don’t work out, is okay with starting over. He is a thorough planner who is not “wishy-washy.” He spent lots of time preparing sermons.  He is not a micro-manager, but a leader. He let the staff do their own planning but, would stay involved and in sync with them. He offered Good communication to staff and church, always being honest, concise, and open.”
 

Dr. Sonny Tucker

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist State Convention

“Jeff is very personable and likeable. He has dignity and class; but, not stiff.  He is polished; yet very authentic. He’s taken Cross Church School of Ministry to the next level and the students really like him.

Jeff can deal with stress and conflict. He respects people and deals with conflict without getting angry. He just talks it through. 

J.B. Collingsworth

Associate Pastor, Dogwood Church

 “Jeff is a great, great guy, top-shelf. Jeff is a strong, Godly leader, with great pulpit skills, great people skills, and very evangelistic. He is a great listener who thinks through things. He is very honest and handles conflict well.  His wife Julie is delightful and a joy to be around. She is very supportive of Jeff and what he’s called to do.  As a couple, they are very normal in how they raise their kids, as opposed to trying to mold them into perfect “pastor’s kids”. Their children love the Lord.”