A Life on Mission
Trudy Crittendon and her husband served several longterm missions with the International Mission Board. Hear Trudy’s story of a life on mission.
A native of South Carolina, Trudy grew up in Abbeville Country where she attended Midway Baptist. It was there that her experiences as a GA opened her heart to missions. She married my high school sweetheart, James (Jim) Crittendon, in 1965. After graduating from Winthrop College, she began her career as a high school English teacher at Dixie High in Due West. Then, God redirected her life by calling Jim into full-time ministry. As he studied in college and seminary, Trudy taught in a variety of grade levels in schools in SC, LA, and NC. During those years, their two sons were born. After seminary, Jim began his first pastorate at First Baptist Church, Ninety Six and Trudy taught at the local high school. “As I prepared a GA lesson one Wednesday, God made it clear that He was calling me to be a missionary,” Trudy said. Jim had sensed the call while at seminary, and they had been praying. In 1975, they were appointed by the Foreign Mission Board, SBC, as missionaries to the Philippines.
Trudy and Jim served 15 years in the Philippines, beginning in Davao City, where they learned Cebuano. They moved to Mati, on the east coast of Mindanao, where Jim was a church planter. Trudy’s roles include homeschooling their two sons, working with the WMU and other ministries of local church, teaching weekly at the local high school, building relationships within the small town, and serving as the island language coordinator for new missionaries. In 1980, they relocated to Manila, the capital. She learned Tagalog, the national language. Highlights of the next ten years included mentoring Filipino women, leading marriage workshops, leading seekers in Bible study, working with local pastors to write a Bible Correspondence course to be used in five languages in the Philippines and neighboring countries, and serving in various administrative roles.
In the 90’s, Trudy and Jim returned to South Carolina. Jim pastored in Anderson, and Trudy taught at Westside High School.
In 1998, they were re-appointed by the International Mission Board, SBC, to serve in South Asia for the next 13 years. “We served on a team of itinerant teachers, traveling to seven or more countries twice a year to teach national pastors for one week in each location,” Trudy said, “and later, we served as member care, caring for missionaries assigned throughout South Asia.” Trudy says one highlight of those years was learning to grandparent long distance. “Trooper, a key-chain elephant, traveled with us and wrote stories of our experiences to be put together with photos and mementos into a book given each Christmas.”
After serving 28 years, Trudy and Jim retired from the IMB in 2010. Jim pastored Townville Baptist for eight years, and Trudy served in various capacities. Trudy is currently a trustee for the IMB and they are members of Concord Baptist in Anderson. Trudy is enjoying living near my two sons, their wives, and our six grandchildren.
Thanks to Trudy for sharing her story and for her and her husband’s lifelong service to the Gospel and to missions!