Raymond Henry Reed, beloved pastor of Grady First Baptist Church of Grady died on August 10, 2017, at the age of 90 years.
Bro. Raymond retired in August, 2016 for health reasons after serving Grady Baptist Church for 26 years, completing sixty-eight years of ministry.
He was born in Sonora, Arkansas on January 26, 1927, to the lated Fred and Lula Reed.
He graduated from Huntsville High School in 1944, and he enlisted in the Navy that same year. He served on the USS President Jackson in the South Pacific during WWII and was discharged in 1946. Raymond entered Ouachita Baptist College in 1947 where he met Norene Elizabeth Allen. They were married June 23, 1948. Richard was born October, 1949, and twins Eddie and Alyce were adopted on Valentine’s Day, 1959. Carolyn McMurray entered the family through marriage September, 1970. Raymond graduated from the University of Arkansas and Southwestern Baptist Seminary.
Raymond served as pastor in Arkansas, Texas and Washington. He served as Director of Missions in Texas and Arkansas. Raymond and Norene’s ministry not only involved the church but the community where the church was. The heart of his ministry was “in touching people’s lives where they are today and where they will spend eternity.”
They spent some 15 years serving the migrant population and developing a mission center in Bradley County. Ray and Norene were proud to have a dozen or more Hispanic kids call them grandma and grandpa because of the work at the mission center and in Grady. Raymond was blessed with numerous wonderful friends and working partners dealing with community needs. For a number of years Raymond was a key organizer in the annual Grady Lion’s Club Fish Fry. In time his grandson, John Reed, picked up where his grandfather left off.
Over the years Raymond was honored as 1975 Citizen of the Year for Bradley County Chamber of Commerce. In 1978, he was honored by Ouachita Baptist University as Director of Missions of the year for Arkansas. He was also honored as Man of the year by Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce while serving as pastor at Grady.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Norene Reed; son, Eddie Reed; daughter, Alyce Abney; grandson, Jason Abney; daughter Teri Anthony; brothers, Neil Reed, Jack Reed, John Reed, Bob Reed, Jim Reed; and sisters, Iris Reed and Freida Reed.
He is survived by his wife, Sue Anthony Reed; son Richard Reed (Linda); daughter-in-law, Carolyn McMurray (Elbert); son-in-law, Jim Abney; son, Ronald Anthony; daughter Becky Peebles (Larry); sister, Rachel Hepler (Fred); brother, Fred Reed Jr. (Barbara); and grandchildren, John Reed (Megan), Christy Ford (David), Kate Woodbury (Alex) and Erin Denman (Will), Christian Anthony, Matthew Anthony and James Peebles. Great grandchildren: Kelsey Ford, Maddy Ford, Kyle Williams, Jesse Williams and Jaycen Woodbury.
The Raymond Reed family celebrates the lives of his siblings/spouses and all of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Raymond’s brothers and sisters all were service-oriented through ministry, military, nursing, teaching and business.
Raymond was very special to a number of people that he “adopted” into the family through his lifelong ministries. They each blessed the other through friendship, partnership and a common belief in service to God.
As Raymond’s health began to fail, he was resolute when he said, “it’s in God’s hand’s now.” Now, he truly is in God’s hands. To God be Glory.
Viewing will be at Griffin Funeral Home, Star City, Arkansas, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday, August 14. Funeral services will be at Grady Baptist Church, in Grady on Tuesday, August 15 at 3 p.m. Interment will be Wednesday August 16, at 2 p.m. at Bluff Cemetery in Springdale, Arkansas.
Arrangements by Griffin Funeral Service in Star City.