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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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Visionary, pioneer, leader, humanitarian, and philanthropist Pastor James David Gailliard has committed his life to helping people and places thrive. At the intersection of pastoral ministry and public policy he has formed a collaborative model of human, socio-political-economic and community development.


He is the organizing and Senior Pastor of Word Tabernacle Church with campuses in Rocky Mount and Tarboro North Carolina. Under his leadership the church has grown from a church plant of 14 people to a mega-church serving thousands of families within twenty North Carolina Counties, several states including Virginia, New York, and Alaska, as well as internationally including Singapore, India, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. His vision has given birth to nine independent, yet collaborative Centers addressing Capacity Building; Childhood, College & Career Readiness; Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Faith & Family; Health & Wellness; Leadership Development & Capacity Building; Media & Broadcast and Performing Arts & Worship.


Pastor Gailliard served two consecutive terms in the North Carolina General Assembly becoming “living history” as the only person of color to be elected to represent House District 25. During his two terms, he introduced over 35 Bills, co-sponsored numerous others, held three appointments (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). 

Representative Gailliard also served on five of the most critical Standing Committees, including Health and Education. As a Commissioner of My Future NC he was one of the architects of the statewide educational attainment goal.


His academic background is an unusual combination of theology, counseling, and business administration. As a Morehouse man he was named to both Honor Roll and Dean's Lists and is a member of the Board of Preachers of Morehouse College.


In 2016 he was named the Distinguished Citizen by the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce He currently serves on many boards including Chairman, North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and Founder/Chairman, The REACH Center, Inc.

In 2023 Pastor Gailliard was awarded the Joseph R. Biden Lifetime Achievement and Presidential Service Award

He is a proud husband to Angela and father to Matthew, Jada, Jasmine and Jacey and grandfather to Makalya, Kyla and Xada. Affectionately known as Pastor G, he is the spiritual father, son, and brother to many. To unwind he can be found on his Harley Davidson or shooting a game of pool.

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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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