|Raymond Paul DeLaughter, affectionately called Pastor Ray, was born in Decatur, Illinois on March 18, 1928 to Claudine and Crawford Paul DeLaughter and died on May 31, 2005 at the age of 77 years, two months and 13 days. Ray is survived by his wife, Shirley; sister, June Carr of Decatur, Illinois; two sons – Roger DeLaughter and his wife, Lorinda; and Dennis DeLaughter and his wife Cynthia; four grandchildren, Ray DeLaughter and his wife Aimiee and Rachel Bosworth and her husband Jeff – children of Dennis and Cynthia – Jonathan DeLaughter and Tiffany Wallin and her husband David – children of Roger and Lorinda; two great grandchildren, Ethan DeLaughter, son of Ray and Aimee DeLaughter, and Jacob Wallin, stepson of Tiffany and David Wallin; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray accepted Christ at the age of 6 at 3rd United Brethren Church in Decatur, Illinois and at the age of 14 he felt God’s call on his life to preach. Ray met Shirley Short at a church function when they were 16 and three years later on June 16, 1946 they were married. Ray is quoted as saying “with the exception of receiving Christ as my personal Savior, Shirl is the best thing that ever happened to me.” Ray passed away only a few days short of their 59th wedding anniversary.
Ray started his college education at Indianapolis University in Indiana and attended Seminary at United Theological Seminary in Ohio. He was ordained by the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Oklahoma City in 1963 and was working on his Doctorate in Family Counseling from Southeastern University in Louisiana when he started having health problems in the early 80’s.
Ray was a faithful loving pastor and teacher for 63 years, very effective as a pastor and loved by his churches. With Shirley by his side, they served a total of 16 churches; 7 in Illinois, 1 in Oklahoma, 4 in Texas and 4 in Louisiana. Ray loved to preach, hold evangelistic meetings, teach Bible studies, and sing. He had a beautiful tenor voice and an exceptional ability to teach the scriptures. Every aspect of his ministry was influenced by his evangelistic fervor, the desire to see men brought to Christ.
After Ray’s first heart attack in 1981, at the age of 53, he was forced to take early retirement from the United Methodist Church for health reasons. The decision to move to Houston was easy because both of their sons lived in the Houston area and they would also be close to the Houston Medical Center.
Shortly after moving to Houston, they began to attend Foundry United Methodist Church. They attended Foundry for nearly 20 years and for over 15 of those years Ray taught the Joyful Noise Sunday School Class, which he dearly loved.
To all of his family, he truly lived what he professed and taught about Jesus. Ray was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, preacher, teacher, and friend and an inspiration and example to us all. God blessed Shirl with, as she says – “God’s perfect example of what a Christian man should be.”
A fast growing cancer claimed Ray’s life, but he passed to his eternal reward very peacefully, and we thank God for this last measure of Grace. Ray is loved and will be missed until we meet again on Heaven’s shore.
by Shirley DeLaughter
|Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2006|