A Celebration of Life Service for The Reverend Elijah Gray Jr. will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2018, at 12:00 Noon, at Macedonia C. P. Church in America, 1820 Old Moulton Rd. SW, Decatur, AL, with Bishop John Gray, officiating, the Rev. G. Lynne Herring, host pastor and interment in Bell Cemetery. Public viewing will be Friday, November 23, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Family Visitation will be Friday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Elijah Gray, Jr. was born Monday, October 30, 1933, the oldest child to the late Elijah Gray Sr. and Beulah Gray in Tanner, AL. He heard a still soft voice on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 12:35 a. m. at Decatur Health and Rehabilitation in Decatur, AL and took his heavenly flight home to be with the Lord.
Elijah attended the Limestone County School System, where he was a student at the Trinity High School.
In 1952, Elijah married the former Geneva Exziner Wiggins, a union that lasted for over sixty-five years. Elijah and Geneva were blessed to have a close and loving family that included 11 wonderful children, five boys: John, Elijah, Piliate, Samuel and George Steve and six girls: Shirley, Elizabeth, Rachel, Mary, Martha and Naomi.
With a mind to always provide for his family, Elijah was gainfully employed at McGarth’s Bakery for many years until the company closed down.
In his early years, Elijah accepted Christ as his personal savior and united with the Little Zion M.B. Church in Tanner, AL. He was a faithful and dedicated member and served in many capacities of the church.
After hearing and running from the voice of God, Elijah finally gave in to the calling on his life and publically announced his call to preach the gospel. He was deeply rooted in the Bible and was always ready to stand and proclaim the goodness of God. He ministered at various places and people quickly fell in love with his preaching. Many raved over how he would put his hand at his ear as he was nearing the closing of his sermon while literally letting God use him. Throughout the years, he pastored the following churches: Providence M.B. Church, Danville, Alabama; Minor Hill M.B. Church, Flint, Alabama; Macedonia M.B. Church, Town Creek, Alabama; Bethel Lauderdale M.B. Church and Shiloh M.B. Church both in Florence, Alabama; Mt. Moriah M.B. Church, Tuscumbia, Alabama; and First Baptist M.B. Church, Russellville, Alabama. Under his leadership, many were called into the ministry and he had the honor of baptizing many members. Reverend Gray played an intricate part in the Ministerial Alliance and the local convention bodies.
Reverend Gray was preceded in death by his parents, his step-mom Willodean Gray, his two sons: Piliate and Steve, his two daughters: Rachel and Martha, his four brothers: Billy, Moses, Eugene and Robert and his sister, Queenester.
He leaves to mourn and cherish his life and legacy his loving and devoted wife, Geneva E. Gray of Decatur, AL; children: Shirley Green, John (Linda) Gray, Elijah (Victoria) Gray, Samuel (Sherry) Gray, Elizabeth (Edward) Raybon, Mary Gray, and Naomi (David) Pruitt all of Decatur, AL; siblings Roland (Alice) Gray, Johnnie (Margie) Gray, George Gray and Josie Gray all of Chicago, IL, Alvin Gray, Charles (Kathy) Gray, Renold (Melva) Gray, Harold (Kathy) Gray, Mervin Gray, Margie (Bob) Hampton, Jewel Malone, Priscilla Gray-Melson and Serendia Gray all of Tanner, AL; thirty-six grandchildren, twenty-nine great grandchildren and one great great grandchild and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.