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The Rev. Dr. Haywood T. Gray, age 58, departed this life on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
Funeral, 1 PM, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 East South Street, Raleigh. The Rev. Dr. J. Vincent Terry Sr., Officiating. Dr. Dorwin L. Howard Sr., Pastor of First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, Eulogist. Entombment, Montlawn Memorial Park. ** Clergy will not be wearing robes. **
Public viewing, 1 PM to 5 PM, Monday, April 22, 2019, Thomas J. Boyd Chapel on the Campus of Shaw University. Visitation, 6 PM to 8 PM, Monday, April 22, 2019, First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, 1515 Cross Link Road, Raleigh.
Rev. Gray held the position of Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Inc. from January 2005 until his death. The Convention represents more than one-half million African-American Baptists in more than sixteen hundred congregations across North Carolina.
Rev. Gray came to the General Baptist State Convention after a long and distinguished career as a pastor. For seventeen years, he was Pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Pelham, North Carolina. For seven years following his service in Pelham, he was Pastor of Temple Memorial Baptist Church in High Point, North Carolina. He retired after twenty-four years as a pastor in 2004 in order to assume his current position with the Convention.
Rev. Gray’s interests and avenues of service have been varied. As an elected official, he served two terms on the Caswell County Board of Education as well as a term as a Director of the North Carolina School Boards Association. As a denominational leader, he has served as Fourth Vice President of his state convention and as Moderator of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Association.
As a writer, Dr. Gray published his first work in 1992, and it became the official manual for ushers in General Baptist Churches in North Carolina. His second work was published in 2016, Guided by an Unseen Hand: The Ministry Autobiography of Haywood T. Gray. He is a former Trustee of Shaw University Divinity School. Presently, he sits on both the Board of Trustees of Shaw University and the Board of Directors of Central Children’s Home in Oxford, North Carolina. Shaw University awarded the Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to him in 2006.
Rev. Gray preached the Gospel from childhood and, after thirty-five years in preaching and more than 4,400 sermons delivered, he considered himself to be clay in the Potter’s hands – ever shaping, ever changing, ever growing. He was a proud member of Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Left to cherish his memory are; his mother, Doris Freeman of Richmond, VA; sons, Randy Slade of High Point, NC; Rev. Kevin Bowe (Theresa) of Marion, AR; Emanuel Williams of Greenville, NC; Allen E. Ingram (Jamie) of Durham, NC; Rev. Dr. LaMont Johnson of Durham, NC; Alonzo Thomas (Jeano) of Greensboro, NC; Rev. Thomas Farrow, Jr. (Kembrie) of Charlotte, NC and Minister Yoshiko Fields of Houston, TX; daughter, Vernita Bowe of Durham, NC; 17 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild; sister, Fulgencia Freeman of Richmond, VA; and a host of other relatives, colleagues and friends.