Minister celebrates Golden Anniversary

Reverend Jim Gray, seated, pictured at a service held in Faughanvale Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a minister. Included are, from left, seated, Mattie Parkhill, the oldest member of the congregation, and Maureen Gray, standing, Reverend Lindsay Blair, Roberta Montgomery and Donald Montgomery, Clerk of Session. INLS4914-188KM
Reverend Jim Gray, seated, pictured at a service held in Faughanvale Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a minister. Included are, from left, seated, Mattie Parkhill, the oldest member of the congregation, and Maureen Gray, standing, Reverend Lindsay Blair, Roberta Montgomery and Donald Montgomery, Clerk of Session. INLS4914-188KM

Rev James Gray of Faughanvale Presbyterian Church, Eglinton, celebrated his ‘Golden anniversay’ as a clergyman on Sunday, December 7.

The 50th anniversary of his ordination to the Christian ministry was officially marked after the morning service, when a congregational lunch was held and presentations were made to Rev Gray and his wife Maureen.

Rev Gray grew up in Portstewart, and following training for the ministry in Canada and at Assembly’s College, Belfast, he was ordained as an assistant Minister in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, Belfast, on December 13, 1964.

In 1966 he became Minister of his first charge at Ballyhobridge, Clones, Stonebridge and Newbliss, on the Cavan/Fermanagh border.

In 1975 Rev Gray became Minister of Faughanvale and in 1981 also took over care of Gortnessy, retiring in 2002.

During his ministry in Faughanvale and Gortnessy, Rev Gray saw difficult times, ministering to families affected by the Greysteel Massacre and the family of David Caldwell who was murdered. As a peacemaker, he was involved in the set up of the Vale Centre and the Faughanvale Community Project. He also was involved in the Foyle and Derry & Donegal Presbytery Prayer for Healing Ministry and for many years was also Chaplain in Altnagelvin and Gransha Hospitals and he still continues with this work.

At Sunday’s celebration tributes were paid to Rev and Mrs Gray and they were wished God’s richest blessing for their on going retirement.