Gray will speak at MLK celebration today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2012

SALISBURY — The 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award Service and Celebration event will be held at 3 p.m. today at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
The Rev. Dr. Haywood Gray, executive secretary-treasurer of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, will serve as the guest speaker.
Gray came to the General Baptist State Convention after a long and distinguished career as a pastor. He was the pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Pelham for seventeen years.
For seven years following his service in Pelham, he was Pastor of Temple Memorial Baptist Church in High Point.
Gray retired after 24 years as a pastor in 2004 in order to assume his current position with the convention.
The Convention represents more than half a million African-American Baptists in about 1,600 congregations across North Carolina.
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.
Gray wrote and published his first work in 1992 and it became the official manual for ushers in General Baptist Churches in North Carolina.
He is a former Trustee of Shaw University Divinity School. Presently, he sits on both the Board of Trustees of Shaw and the Board of Directors of Central Children’s Home in Oxford.
Shaw awarded Gray the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2006.
He has preached the Gospel from childhood and after 35 years in preaching and more than 3,900 sermons, he considers himself to be clay in the potter’s hands – ever shaping, ever changing, ever growing.
A resident of Raleigh, he is proud to be a member of Christian Faith Baptist Church. The joy of his life is his four adopted son, his four daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren. They, in many ways, are his life’s greatest work.
Recipients of this year’s Humanitarian Awards include: Mix-It-Up Council Corriher-Lipe Middle School, Mae Carroll, Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard and Rodney Cress.
The S. R. Johnson Memorial Scholarships will also be awarded. Recipients include Amber Gilmore and Annick Dalton of West Rowan High, Joseph Wiggins and Christen Jones from North Rowan High and Salisbury High’s Micah Ford.
The Church is located at 1920 Shirley Avenue. Music will be provided by North Rowan Connection. The public is invited to attend.
Look for coverage of the event in Monday’s Post.