Bill Gray

Bill Gray

Rep. William H. Gray III, August 20, 1941 – July 1, 2013. A memory: In 1987, Bill, a Philadelphia congressperson, was breakfasting with American Baptist sisters and brothers on Capitol Hill. Evangelist Oral Roberts had just announced he would die if his followers didn’t immediately contribute $8million to his ministry. Bill, who was also pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, was incredulous. “Doesn’t work that way in my church and it SURE doesn’t work that way here,” he said. “If I went to folks and said I’ll die if you don’t give me what I want, they’d shrug and wave, ‘Bye.’” He wiggled his fingers in the air and laughed loudly. Rest in Peace and rise in glory, Bill. Today you are missed. (Posted July 2, 2013, on FaceBook)

About Philip E Jenks

Philip, a synodical deacon in the ELCA Metropolitan New York synod, is a retired communicator for American Baptist Churches USA, the U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches, the U.S. National Council of Churches, and two Philadelphia area daily newspapers. He and his spouse, the Rev. Dr. Martha M. Cruz, are the parents of six adults and are members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rye Brook, N.Y. They live in Port Chester, N.Y.
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