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Inspiring Conversations with Chrystal Crawford of The Ekklesia Training and Equipping Ministry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chrystal Crawford.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I will say that my humble beginning was indeed just that humble. I started out teaching 2 times per week using a conference call line. People would call in from all over the country, some from other countries. It was indeed a time of sitting at Jesus’ feet. I received no offerings or tithes and just sat in my room praying and teaching anyone who would hear. I also began to minister in a small storefront church, where I preached my first message, “The Pearl Experience.” While serving in that church, God taught me about the power of fasting and prayer, and I began to see God use me in healing, specifically in the area of limbs and deliverance. I soon began to rent a space in Belleville, IL, but before renting that space, I walked the grounds of the location, which was a church, and declared that the whole church would be the new location. I could not afford a lot at that time, not even the church’s sanctuary, so I settled for a small classroom-like space in the building. I never stopped believing that one day I would have the building. I started inviting people, but the number of people who came ranged from 1 to 5. No matter how many people came, I always dressed up, prepared as though I was going to teach nations, and taught the people who came. There were days when I wanted to cry; some days, no one came. Some days, I walked away with an offering of 3 dollars or nothing. It was indeed a humble beginning. I then became discouraged and stopped having meetings there. For 2 years almost, I paid rent there but could not get up the nerve to tell anyone to come because I was so confused about why this was happening. One day God gave me a dream of 7 women in a classroom-like setting. I knew that I had to go back to work. By that time, I was married and told my husband that I must go back, clean everything up and start teaching again, and from that point, the Birthing Room class came about. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a book about finding your God-given purpose and the start of me understanding my own.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road, especially in the beginning. I experienced many trials regarding finances to support the ministry. I experienced having my first location taken away due to the building being bought out by another business. We relocated to O’Fallon, IL, but then experienced loss in the area of people and, of course, finances. Through all this, I had a miscarriage and even lost my vehicle to repossessions, but I continued to teach, preach and mentor. It was a time when I served others when I couldn’t even help myself, but God gave me the strength to keep going. With or without a building, people, money, or even time. God was truly in control. When God allowed me to take the ministry to television, I experienced having to say no to many things others may have gone for. I had to choose between mammon and God. I knew that I could not serve two masters, so I chose to follow what Jesus wanted from me. I experienced what it is like to prepare to be aired on television, only for a network never to air what you preached. I experienced seeing those who had walked very close to me walk away. In this process, I have lost family as well. Still, even though things do not look how I envisioned, the bottom line is that it protected the integrity of the ministry, my integrity, and my character.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I am most known as an apostolic midwife that works with people to birth out what God gave them. I build people to live limitless lives. I serve as a mentor nationally and internationally through my organization Forever31 Mentoring while serving multiple generations of women. I am also the host of The Fourth Watch Television show on the NOW Network and the host of “My Apostolic Life” podcast show. My latest literary works include “The Birthing Room: The First Trimester,” “Release Date: Eight Days to a New Beginning,” and “When Pigs Fly,” which is a children’s book. God has called us to be strong and of good courage, and that in itself takes guts! My desire for people to get the guts to be great sets me apart from others. My hashtag is #gitchusumguts, and I try to live by that every day.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
So many people have been instrumental in all that I have accomplished so far. I honor God, the head of my life; without him, I could not do anything. My husband, Pastor Marshall Crawford, my mother, Jean Holmes, my father, Dr. Edward Holmes, and spiritual daughters and sons are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. A special thanks to my brother Edward Holmes II who helped me to publish “The Birthing Room: The First Trimester and “Release Date: Eight Days to a New Beginning.” I also want to thank all the mentees I have worked with over the years. They have been such a help as I have and am still learning to lead God’s people and myself through my experiences with them. I cannot forget all of the partners of The Fourth Watch who help to keep me on the air spreading the word of God weekly.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photo Credits – Marshall Crawford

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