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Mackey Funerals and Cremations at Century Drive

311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC

OBITUARY

Richard Elton Gray

December 8, 1935October 15, 2016
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Richard E. Gray, 80, of Taylors, SC, went home to be with his Lord on October 15, 2016, after a brief illness.

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.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, October 17, 2016
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, October 18, 2016
  • Committal Service Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Memories

Richard Elton Gray

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Connie (Burford) Lord

December 2, 2016

I live in England currently and didn't know until today that Mr. Gray had gone home to glory. He was one of my favorite teachers at BJU, and one of the dearest influences in my Christian life. He had been on my mind for the past couple of months, and now I know why. I did an internet search today and found his obituary. May God continued to be honored by the goodness of this man's life. Mr. Gray loved his family, his church members, his students, and his friends. And Oh, how he loved the Lord! I'm a better person for having known him.

October 22, 2016

I have just learned of the passing of one of the favorite pastors and friend I have ever known. I will never forget the times of fellowship with him when we were building Grace Baptist Church of Pelzer. He was truly "My Pastor and Friend. Martha and I love the whole family and I am so thankful that one day we will be reunited. He had a rare quality of love for us all. God bless the whole family. Love to ;you all, Ken and Martha Darby.

Leta Sutherland

October 21, 2016

Dear Mike, Kathy and Family,
It was such a joy to know your Mom and Dad. She was my friend and he was my Pastor. We served with them at Grace Baptist in Pelzer. There was no one who could sing How Great Thou Art like Pastor Gray. What a blessing to know they are together again in the presence of The Lord. May. God give you comfort with this knowledge.

David Nelson

October 19, 2016

Pastor Gray was a true servant of God. He was my pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Ramseur, NC. I will always be inspired by his total faithfulness to our Lord. God used him to pioneer Christian education in our town and his legacy lives on through Faith Christian School!
To Kathy and Mike, please be assured of my prayers for you! God bless you!

October 18, 2016

Dick had a special role in our lives after marrying us - he was our first pastor. He also introduced us to the church/school ministry in Ramseur, NC. His friendship continued to provide close fellowship and counsel for nearly 50 years. Bob & Tena Wokaty

Ed & Sylvia Christy

October 18, 2016

It was a privilege to have Mr. Gray as one of my Bible teachers at BJ as well as one of the team leaders on the Haiti mission team with the Paddocks many years ago. He was a kind and wise man whom I greatly appreciated. I know he's rejoicing to be in the presence of the Lord, but I also know his encouraging smile and words will be missed until that Day. Praying for his family and church,
Sylvia Christy (France)

Dan & Joy Willard

October 18, 2016

Mr. Gray was probably my favorite Bible teacher, back in my 1984-88 tenure at BJU, so I'm saddened by this news. May God heap bountiful grace and comfort upon your family at this time. Dan Willard

Debbie Moseley

October 18, 2016

Kathy: Even though we are not with you physically we are definitely there in heart and spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always and we love each and everyone of you. Mama is so saddened by her inability to be there as are the rest of us. Your Daddy was such a kind and wonderful person and I know his loss breaks your heart. May your memories and the knowledge that he is reunited with your Mama bring you a sense of peace during this time of sorrow. Love and prayers (Debbie, Larry, Edna).

Paul Lavender

October 18, 2016

I had brother Gray for several classes at BJU. He truly loved young people. Brother Gray's son, Michael, was the ring bearer at our wedding. Deb and I helped lead the music with Brother Gray at the church in Flat Rock, NC. So many fond memories of those days. Truly a humble servant of our dear Lord.
Thanks, Brother for your influence in our lives. Paul and Debbie Lavender--Nova Scotia, Canada

Jack Whitley

October 17, 2016

I was a 5th grader at Faith Christian School the first time I saw Mr. Gray. I was a classmate of Kathy's until they moved back to SC. I will be forever grateful for his part in founding Faith Christian School because God used the school to change the trajectory of my life. I testify to the difference one man's tireless struggle can make for the kingdom of God. Praise God for one man's surrender to the call of God on His life.

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