FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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._
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