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Rev. David B. Ray, D. D.
By Robert S. Duncan, 1882

     David B. Ray. - The proprietor and editor of the American Baptist Flag, Elder D. B. Ray, was born March 30, 1830, at Hickman, Kentucky. When fifteen years of age, in October, 1844, he professed religion, and joined the Little Obion Baptist Church, having been baptized by Elder White. Several years after
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he commenced preaching, and in 1856 he was ordained as a gospel minister, entering at once upon this work. From this until 1870, Kentucky and Tennessee were the fields of his labor, and he then became associate editor with Dr. A. S. Worrell, on the staff of the Baptist Sentinel, at Lexington, Ky. In 1873 he removed to La Grange, Mo., and became pastor of the Baptist church there. In this field he continued some seven years, and removed in 1880 to St. Louis.

     In his younger life he spent two years in Clinton Seminary, Ky., but ill health compelled him to leave school. After this he spent much time in the study of theology, the sciences and history.

     Dr. Ray has held nearly forty oral discussions on religious questions. In this work he has met some of the ablest debaters among the Methodists and the Disciples, commonly called Campbellites. Among the former, he has engaged in debate with J. B. McCutcheon of West Tennessee; Dr. Gilford Jones of Memphis, Tennessee; A. H. Lee, G. H. Hays and C. W. Miller of Kentucky; and Jacob Ditzler. Of the latter, he has met T. W. Karkey of Mississippi; J. E. Myles and Samuel A. Kelley of Kentucky; Dr. J. A. Lucas of Missouri; W. B. F. Treat and Aaron Walker of Indiana, and D. R. Lucas of Illinois. These discussions have often been followed by revivals of religion, "as well as the discomforture of his opponents."

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     But this is only one element of Dr. Ray's life in the ministry. He has done much of what we call itinerant work, holding protracted meetings, in which he has been more than ordinarily successful - in fact, abundantly so. Some three thousand souls have been converted in these meetings, and of this number about twenty-five have entered the ministry.

     He is an author. His first work, Text Book on Campbellism, was published in 1867, and has passed through seven editions, and has done much to expose the errors of this system. He next issued in 1870, Baptist Succession, which is a most useful work, and a hand-book of Baptist history. This book is in its ninth edition. His Church Discussion contains his debate with the Campbellites.

     He is now doing a heavy work as proprietor and editor of the American Baptist Flag. His home is in St. Louis, and he is a man of acknowledged ability and great courage.

     Dr. Ray was instrumental in the formation of the St. Louis Baptist Publishing Company, of which he has been, from the beginning, the president.


[Robert S. Duncan, A History of the Baptists in Missouri, 1882, pp. 907-9. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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