Southwestern’s Jack Gray Dies at 89

Today, friends and family held a funeral service for Southwestern professor Lloyd Jack Gray at Fort Worth, Texas. Jack Gray had played an important role during the almost legendary Asbury Revival in 1970. Friends and family honored his legacy today.

Southwestern Seminary’s Lloyd Jack Gray, professor of the missions emeritus, quietly passed away in Fort Worth, Texas January 7. He was 89 at the time. Jack Gray started his career in ministries as an ordained minister at the First Baptist Church of LaVerne, Oklahoma at the age of 18.

In 1938, he enrolled himself into the Southwestern Seminary where he would later come to play an important role in future student ministries. In 1942, Jack Gray received his master’s in theology. During World War II, Jack Gray enlisted in the navy serving as a chaplain onboard a naval escort-carrier. He married his wife of 59 years, Elsie Carr, in 1944 during a two-week furlough. He was honorably discharged November 1945.

After the war, Jack Gray enrolled into the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving his doctorate in theology in 1948. Jack Gray pastored a few more churches before being invited to teach at the Southwestern Seminary in 1956. During his 28-year tenure, Jack Gray often went on missions during his Sabbaticals. Jack Gray has been in mission fields as diverse as Brazil, Nigeria, and Taiwan.

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According to friends who personally knew Jack Gray, he would be more remembered for his contributions to the students in the course of his lifelong devotion to ministries. Former classmate and lifelong friend, Cal Guy, shared how Jack Gray often showed concern for the students.

“The Lord laid on Jack's heart a real concern for revival in the seminary,” Guy recounted to BP. “So he began to pull together students who were open to that pull. He created a prayer group that was praying to that end.”

“Then in 1970, a revival broke out at Asbury College in Kentucky. Jack invited three of the students who were involved in that revival to our campus. Those three men came down to Fort Worth and spoke for about 18 minutes in chapel about their experiences. Later that night, Jack brought the Kentucky students together with our students who were praying for revival. Students began confessing their sins to one another. Southwestern responded and the revival got into our campus quite deeply,” Guy said to BP.

Jack Gray retired from his post in 1984. His wife preceded him in death in 2002. Jack Gray is survived by his two daughters, Noralyn Carpenter and Kristen Desbien.

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