He was born in Roanoke Rapids, NC, on December 8, 1935 and was the son of the late Edward Ryland Gray and Letha Price Gray.
He was a graduate of Roanoke Rapids High School and Bob Jones University where he received both undergraduate and master's degrees. He taught on the junior high, high school and college levels and was a professor in the School of Religion at Bob Jones University for 32 years. He was also influential in the early years of Christian education in North Carolina and was instrumental in helping establish schools across the state. "Preacher Gray" always felt that his greatest calling was that of a pastor. Over the years he pastored several churches in North Carolina, and he was the founding pastor of Faith Baptist Church and Christian School in Ramseur, NC. His latest pastorates were Flat Rock Baptist Church, Flat Rock, NC, and Grace Baptist Church in Pelzer, SC. In 2007 he retired after 50 years in the ministry.
He has been described as kind, humble, and a true southern gentleman, but perhaps the best description is that he was faithful and remained true to his calling to teach young people, to win souls for Christ, and to preach God's Word with an unwavering faith. At the time of his death he was a faithful member of Colonial Hills Baptist Church where he was affectionately known as "Dad Gray".
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Billie Ann Chaney Gray. He is survived by a daughter, Kathy (Mike) Norris of Greer, SC and a son, Dr. Michael Gray (Kellie) of Taylors. His greatest joys were his five grandchildren and four (soon to be five) great-grandchildren. They all adored their "Poppy" who left for them a wonderful legacy. Grandchildren Alicia (Craig) Hill, Greer, SC; Amy Norris, Greenville, SC; Brian (Jordan) Gray, Taylors, SC; Brad (Natalie) Gray, West Palm Beach, FL; Bethany Gray, Taylors, SC. Great-grandchildren Owen and Griffin Hill, Greer, SC and Hadley and Piper Gray, Taylors, SC. Sisters Edna Parrish and Dorothy Britton, both of Roanoke Rapids, NC.
Visitation will be 6-8 pm, Monday, October 17, at Mackey Mortuary. Funeral service will be at 2 pm, Tuesday, October 18, at Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Taylors, SC, with Dr. Michael Gray officiating.
Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park.