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My Story

“I’m excited that people are going to heaven, but until they get there I don’t want them living in hell”

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James David Gailliard was born to Wesley S. Gailliard, a rail worker and Ruth Gailliard, a factory

worker. His parents emphasized reading, attending church, and serving in the community as core

values in the home. His formative years, schooling and work experiences always included theology,

counseling, and business. After college, he began a successful career in corporate America before

leaving to plant a church in the community he was raised in. Feeling as if he was making a dollar and

not a difference he never looked back. He is now Pastor of Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount,

North Carolina, and a 2nd term Representative, in House District 25 in the North Carolina General



For over 25 years Pastor Gailliard has blended principles of pastoral leadership and public policy with

his unique background and experiences as a bi-racial man to form a holistic model of human,

economic and community development that is enabling people to thrive in eastern North Carolina.

The foundation of this work is the church. A church serving thousands of families from twenty North

Carolina Counties and six Virginia counties. In 2013 Word Tabernacle was named amongst the 100

fastest growing churches in America. In 2015 the church initiated a $13 million,110,000 sq. ft shared

use building re-use project, The Impact Center, which houses eight independent, yet collaborative

Centers addressing Leadership Development & Capacity Building; Childhood, College & Career Readiness;

Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Faith & Family; Health & Wellness; Community & Collaborations;

Media & Broadcast and Performing Arts & Worship.


In 2019 he was sworn into the North Carolina General Assembly as Representative, House District 25

(Nash County). He has served on the Appropriations, Appropriations-Education, Appropriations-

Capital, Education K-12, Education–Community Colleges and Health Committees as well as the

House Select Committee on School Safety. Additionally, he serves on several workgroups:

Agriculture and Rural Jobs, Broadband, Education, Elections and Medicaid.


Since serving in the North Carolina General Assembly he has been appointed by Governor Roy

Cooper to the Task Force to Develop a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education (DRIVE),

the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC), and the Small Business Policy Task Force.

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Community Involvement

  • Commissioner, My Future NC

  • Board of Trustees, Louisburg College

  • Board of Preachers, Morehouse College

  • Board of Visitors, Shaw University School of Divinity

  • Board of Directors, Kiwanis Club

  • Fellow, North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership

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  • Board of Directors, The Tar River United Way

  • Board of Directors, Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce

  • Founding Board Member, Tar River Mission Clinic

  • Board of Visitors, North Carolina Wesleyan College

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