Press Release  ERLC Announcements/News

ERLC trustee, pastor Ray Newman of Georgia died this morning due to brain tumor

religious liberty


NASHVILLE, TENN.Rev. H. Ray Newman Sr., a trustee of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and executive director of the Georgia Citizen Action Project, died today at the age of 69 after being recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Newman also served as pastor of Macedonia Community Baptist Church in Braselton, Ga.

Newman previously served at the Georgia Baptist Convention for over twenty years, including serving as director of ethics and public affairs for eight years. He is widely recognized as an authority on moral issues among legislators, laymen and pastors.

Newman was elected as a trustee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in June 2007. Russell D. Moore, president of the ERLC, commented on his passing.


Ray Newman is a heroic Baptist leader who devoted his life to preaching the gospel to the world and to combating injustice in the public arena. He fought the social ills of alcoholism, gambling, pornography and the mistreatment of the poor, the aged and the unborn. All the while, he held forth the Word of Life and modeled for the church what it looks like to be a man of God with integrity and courage.

Bro. Ray served on the presidential search committee here at the ERLC. No one was more of an encouragement to me and to my family. Even more than that, it was humbling to talk to this great man after he received the devastating news of this brain tumor. He stood unafraid of death, grateful for the blessings of God.

In heaven, unlike on earth, there’s no need for public advocacy. Ray Newman has received a new assignment and has heard the words from his Lord, Well done, good and faithful servant.

Richard Piles, pastor of First Baptist Church in Camden, Ark., is chairman of the ERLC trustee board and worked closely with Newman.

It has been my privilege to know and serve with Ray Newman for the past 5 years on the trustee board of the ERLC, Piles said. From my first introduction to him, Ray was a Christian gentleman. It wasnt until later that I discovered his passion for biblical ethics and his service to Southern Baptists and the bride of Christ, the local church. Our relationship only grew closer as Ray graciously served on the Presidential Search Team that brought Dr. Russell Moore to the ERLC. It has been said previously, but certainly is worth repeating regarding Ray, Our loss is heavens gain!

A lecture series on ethics and religious liberty was named in his honor at Truett-McConnell College this month. Newman also was recently recognized for his service by the Georgia Baptist Convention during its annual meeting. Newman and his wife, Gwen, who were married 47 years, were described as examples of faith and courage during a presentation there.

The family visitation will be Nov. 26 at Smith Funeral Home in Winder, Ga., from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The funeral will be Nov. 27 at 10 a.m. at Union Baptist Church, Winder, Ga. The graveside service will be at Lakeview Memory Gardens in Phenix City, Ala., at 4:00 p.m. on the same day.

_The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C._

– END –

p=. To request an interview with Dr. Russell Moore,

contact Elizabeth Bristow at (615) 782-8409

or by e-mail at [email protected]

p=. Follow us on Twitter at “@ERLCPressRoom”: and “@ERLC”:

religious liberty

Related Content

Pence expresses gratitude for work of ERLC

Baptist Press

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) – Vice President Mike Pence expressed his gratitude for the work of...

Read More
Christian political engagement

ERLC online event focuses on Christian political engagement

Baptist Press

NASHVILLE (BP) – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) hosted an online event...

Read More
Christian political engagement

ERLC to Host Online Event on Christian Political Engagement with Brent Leatherwood and Daniel Darling 

Nashville, Tenn., April 16, 2024 —The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern...

Read More
Nathan A. Finn

ERLC Appoints Nathan A. Finn to Serve as Senior Fellow with Religious Liberty Focus

Nashville, Tenn., April 9, 2024 —The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern...

Read More

ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project Partners with Texas Baptists to Dedicate Ultrasound Machine at Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, New Mexico

Center Located on TX/NM Border, Abortion Tourism Destination

Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 2024 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics...

Read More
Mike Pence

ERLC Announces Event ‘Serving in the Public Square: A Conversation with Vice President Mike Pence’ at SBC Annual Meeting

Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 2024 —The Ethics & Religious Liberty of the Southern Baptist...

Read More