A native of Kentucky, Ray is married to the former Jean Bradley of North Carolina. They have one son, Neal, who is a lawyer in Buckhead. Ray is a graduate of Draughon’s Business College, Knoxville, TN; Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY, with Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) degree, majoring in piano and business; and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX, with a Master of Religious Education degree. He received the J. P. Price Medal for the highest scholastic ranking of a male student in the School of Religious Education. While a student at both institutions he also studied organ, as well as private instruction with the head of the organ department at Brevard College, Brevard, NC.
Ray has served churches in Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Georgia as a staff member in various capacities-Minister of Education, Minister of Music & Education, Organist, Pianist, as well as Administrative Assistant. For a number of years he and his wife, Jean, wrote curriculum material for 4s & 5s for the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and taught demonstration classes at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly for several years for teachers of 4s and 5s. Ray later became a court reporter and when he retired in 1990 was President of Childers & Shelnutt, Inc., a court reporting firm with offices in Atlanta and Marietta.
He has been a staff member at Buckhead since 1994, working in the office for a number of years. Upon the death of long-time organist, Paul Dowis, Ray was asked to take over the duties of organist as well as continuing in the office.