Raymond Henry Reed
Published: August 13, 2017
Brother Raymond Henry Reed, beloved pastor of Grady First Baptist Church of Grady, Ark., died Aug. 10, 2017, at the age of 90 years. Brother Raymond retired in August 2016 for health reasons after serving Grady Baptist Church for 26 years, completing 68 years of ministry.
Raymond was born in Sonora, Ark., on Jan. 26, 1927, to Fred and Lula Reed who preceded him in death. 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 states. 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 with being the 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.
Raymond was preceded in death by Norene, his wife of 58 years in 2006, son Eddie Reed, daughter Alyce Abney, grandson Jason Abney and daughter Teri Anthony. Raymond is also preceded in death by brothers, Neil, Jack, John, Bob, and Jim, and sisters Iris and Freida. 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) 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, Ark., from 6-8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 14. Funeral services will be at Grady Baptist Church, Grady, Ark., Tuesday, August 15 at 3 p.m. Interment will be Wednesday 2 p.m, Aug. 16, 2017 at Bluff Cemetery in Springdale, Ark. Arrangements by Griffin Funeral Service, Star City. Online obit www.griffinfuneralservice.net.
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