Dr. D. B. Ray, who has been an invalid for a number of years, quietly fell asleep last Sunday morning. His funeral was held at Trinity Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, yesterday. At this time, we have not been able to gather details. Will give fuller statement concerning the long and consecrated service of this man of God.
[From Baptist Messenger, April 5, 1922, page 9.
Death of Dr. D. B. Ray
Dr. David B. Ray was born Mar. 30, 1830 in the log cabin of the Kentucky home of his parents, Dennis and Nancy Ray.
In his boyhood, he had little opportunity for education, he and his brothers helping their father on their large plantation. However at the age of twenty his father allowed him to go to work for himself that he might earn money with which to educate himself. Constant work and study for several years undermined his heath and he had to give up study. He then taught school for a while during which time he married Maron F. James to whom were born ten children, eight of whom are still living. After a time in the Seminary at Clinton, Ky, he became Principle of the High School at Milburn, Ky, from which position he resigned to give his entire time to the ministry in 1856. For the next three years he combined Associational Mission work with Colporteur work and was pastor of several small churches. Just before the Civil War he removed to Lexington, Tenn. and notwithstanding the excitement from that section of the state which was being alternately occupied by the opposing armies and overrun by the guerillas and bushwhackers, he gave his whole time to the ministry and held meetings with such perilous surroundings that no other preacher would attempt it. Some of the greatest revivals meetings of his successful ministry were held during these exciting times. Thousands were brought to Christ under his ministry among whom were W.C. Grace, A.J. Fawcett, and G.S. Williams, all of whom later became prominent Baptist ministers.
Following the war, he was engaged in pastoral work in west Tennessee and was financial agent of the West Tennessee Baptist Convention and Moderator of the Central Association.
In 1867 he published the first Edition of his "Textbook on Campbellism" and in 1869 he published his "Baptist Succession," a book which has reached a high circulation of more than forty thousand.
In 1873 he moved to LaGrange, Missouri, to become pastor of the Baptist Church at that point. His ministry in Northeast Missiouri was blessed with the conversation of hundreds of souls who were brought into Baptist churches. He established the "Baptist Battle Flag" while living in LaGrange, which later became the "American Baptist Flag" of St. Louis. During his residence in St. Louis the paper reached the circulation of thirty thousand weekly. In addition to that he established the "National Baptist Publishing Co." which published over a hundred books.
In 1891 occurred his famous debate with representatives of the Catholic Church, which was published in both his paper and the Catholic Church Progress, and later in book form known as "The Papal Controversy." There are not less than sixteen other books from his pen, now in circulation. While engaged in this arduous work he gave generously of his time to evangelistic and ministerial work.
In 1894 he was married to Elva C. Stockbridge to whom were born five children, four of whom are still living and reside in Oklahoma City. Mrs. Ray is also living and resides at 1310 W. 22nd St. Oklahoma City.
In 1897 he removed to Springfield, Mo. and established, "The Baptist Flag" which was published in Springfield, later in Bolivar, Mo., and in 1901 was removed to Oklahoma City where it was published until 1908, at which time he retired from active work.
During the last nine years he has been confined as an invalid. In the maturity of his age and Christian experience, he passed away at 4:30 A.M., April 2, 1922. The funeral services were conducted in Trinity Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, where the family hold church membership. The service was most impressive. The following, who had known and loved him for many years, had part in the service. Dr. S.J. Porter, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Dr. F.M. McConnell, Corresponding Secretary of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, Dr. C.H. Carleton, Pastor Kelham Ave. Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Dr. Harvey Beauchamp, Dallas, Texas, Brother R.C. Mills Oklahoma City, Rev. A.B. Roberts of Oklahoma City and the writer, Pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church. The Pastors of the city were pallbearers. There were many expressions of affectionate regard for Dr. Ray. A great and good man is gone. He was laid to rest in the beautiful Rose Hill Cemetery.
W. W. Chancellor.
[From Baptist Messenger, April 12, 1922, p. 5. Documents provided by Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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