|Richard W. Gray|
|Dr. Richard W. Gray was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1911.
After the age of 12 he lived in Philadelphia, Pa., until attending Wheaton College from 1930-1934. Following graduation from Wheaton, he received the M.Div. at Westminster Theological Seminary (1937). He was married in 1936 to Emily MacDonald, who shared his pastorates at Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC), East Orange, N.J., 1936-46; Calvary Presbyterian Church (OPC), Bridgeton, N.J., 1946-50; Calvary Presbyterian Church (RPCES), Willow Grove, Pa., 1950-73; and Coventry
Apart from his pastoral duties in four churches, Dr. Gray participated in a wide variety of denominational and intellectual activities. At various times he:
The people who fell under Dick Gray's ministry
were as diverse and varied as his multi-faceted personality, yet all found
common ground in his infectious enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God.
From a young counselee: "I thank God for the vast help that Dr. Gray has been in my life. I came to him in desperate anxiety. He allowed me to expose all that was ugly and frightful. He was both utterly trustworthy and wisely insightful. God used him to lead me into the health and maturity and objectivity about myself which now is a part of my abundant and joyfilled life."
From a ministerial colleague: "Although in God's providence Dick and I were working on the most recent church problem from different sides of it, I want you to know that that in now way diminished my admiration and esteem for him as one of the God-given leaders to the RP Church.I particularly appreciated his openness to new ideas and his willingness to encourage the young ministers. At the same time, no one could question his concern for the welfare of the churches and his tireless energy on their behalf."
From a former elder and long-term friend: "[Dick] had a capacity for concentration and single-mindedness that was maddening, and a capacity for empathy that was healing.He could have written books of great significance, if he had the patience. He was one of only several individuals it was my privilege to know who had the mind of an intellectual explorer, a discoverer of principles, relationships between what are too often labeled 'spiritual' and 'intellectual.' He thought and wanted others to think, and this caused him undeserved difficulties because thinking is painful. He shunned superficial statements that would have won him acceptance among those believers who limit orthodoxy to set phrases. He bore the risk of being considered not Biblical enough, in order to be truly Biblical. He held unswervingly that the Bible is true, but not the only truth, and he sought, I believe in the Biblical manner, Truth."
"Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart." (Ecc. 5:18-20)
See also the Memorial spread upon the Minutes of the Executive Board of National Presbyterian Missions, for April 9 - 11, 1979 (page 197).