BY SANDRA BLACKMER
Don Gray, a longtime Seventh-day Adventist evangelist, died January 11,
2014, in Portland, Oregon. He was 87.
Gray, born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, in 1926, was known throughout the
church for his work in soul winning and evangelism. An ordained minister, he
first served as pastor of several small churches in rural Oregon. He then began
holding evangelistic meetings in tents, and incorporating visual media with his
sermons—a method he found to be very effective in sharing the gospel message.
Don and Marjorie, his wife of 65 years, traveled to such countries as
Russia, China, and Europe to promote evangelism for the Adventist Church. They
worked closely with It Is Written, The Voice of Prophecy, Pacific Press Publishing
Association, and numerous other church organizations in their worldwide
witnessing and evangelistic efforts. Don was a pioneer in the multimedia
approach to communication and witnessing, at one point overseeing the It Is Written Advent Digital Media
project to produce cutting-edge evangelistic graphics.
Don and Marjorie also wrote seven books on witnessing and the message of
salvation through Jesus Christ. The development of their most effective tool,
however, took place in the early 1960s when they wrote a set of 24 Bible
lessons. During the next few decades these lessons were translated into more
than 76 languages, eventually produced as CDs and DVDs with animation and
graphic illustrations, and distributed worldwide. Gray is also responsible for
establishing a number of local Adventist churches.
In 2011, the North Pacific Union and Oregon conferences jointly awarded Gray
a plaque of accomplishment, on which they referred to him as “the Unstoppable
In June 2010, Marjorie died from complications of Alzheimer's.
“[Don] was a devoted husband, loving father, and a true witness for
Christ,” his son, Randy Gray, says. “I am proud to call him my father. He was
truly a great man.”
Along with their son, Randy, the Grays also had a daughter, Donna.
Don is survived by his
son, Randy; a sister, Helen Winkle; and a granddaughter, Mindy Stannard. His
daughter, Donna Stannard, died in 2007.—Information