The Reverend James R. Crumley, Jr. graduated from Roanoke College in 1948, where he served as president of the student body. After graduating from Roanoke, he received a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1951. Later he pursued further graduate work at Chicago Seminary. In 1971, he received an honorary doctorate from Newberry College in South Carolina, and in 1973 his alma mater conferred upon him the honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
Dr. Crumley served as secretary of the 3.1 million-member LCA since 1974. Before his election to that post, he had served as pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Savannah, Georgia. Earlier he was pastor of churches in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Greenville, Tennessee. Dr. Crumley also served as Secretary of the Southeastern Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, and as a member of the Executive Boards of the Virginia and Southeastern Synods from 1955 until 1972. He was also a member of the Rotary Club and received a doctorate of divinity from Newberry College in 1971 and from Roanoke College in 1973.
Dr. Crumley married Annette Bodie Crumley and together they had three children; Frances Holman, James III, and Jeanne.
James R. Crumley, Jr. received the Roanoke College Medal in 1998.