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Rev. Charles Leon Grays, II
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Obituary for Rev. Charles Leon Grays, II

Charles Leon Grays was born to Marie Sarita Grays and Charles Grays on April 6, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned the nickname “Skeeter” because he was so small when he was born, much like a mosquito. He was educated in the Philadelphia School System, graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School. Charles gave his life to the Lord at an early age, under the direction of his first spiritual father, James Montague. In 1963, he married Doris R. Small, and from this union, three children were born. He worked many jobs before becoming a correctional officer for the Philadelphia Prison System. He often commented on how he strayed away from the Lord, but rededicated his life to God and began to serve Him, under the direction of his second spiritual father, Bishop Alden A. Gaines of the Consolation Baptist Church. There, he was licensed and ordained to preach the Gospel. As he continued to live and work for God, he experienced countless blessings.

In 1987, Charles married Lisa Monroe, and from this union, four children were born. He retired from the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy. Continuing in the human services field, he became a Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Counselor, Resource Manager, and Supervisor. Among other occupations, he worked as a licensed insurance agent, a car salesman, and a disability case manager at Goodwill. He loved working with people and would spread the good news of Christ wherever and whenever he could, to whomever would listen.

Reverend Grays was led to relocate to Columbus, Ohio in August of 1990, uniting with the Trinity Baptist Church, under the direction of his third spiritual father, Dr. E. A. Parham. Dr. Parham inspired him to continue his education that was started years earlier at the Philadelphia College of the Bible. He enrolled in the Eastern Union Bible College, an extension of Simmons Bible College, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies and Theology. He has also earned his Master of Ministry Degree, in Bible, and Doctor of Ministry, in Pastoral Studies from Covington Theological Seminary.

Over his spiritual journey, Reverend Grays had the opportunity to preach, teach and serve for various occasions and organizations including the School of Christian Training, The Eastern Union Missionary Baptist Association, The Ohio Baptist General Convention, The Columbus Baptist Pastors Conferences, and The Columbus Baptist Ministerial Alliance. He had also served as a participating member of the Ordination Council of the Eastern Union Missionary Baptist Association. Reverend Grays was also dedicated to the Trinity Baptist Church prison ministry alongside his friend, Rev. Nelson Crawley.

Reverend Grays has pastored churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. He founded the Bright and Morning Star Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In Ohio, he was called to the Mount Carmel Baptist Church, pastored the Traveler’s Rest Missionary Baptist Church, and founded the Living Word of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. In 2007, he was called and installed at the historical Zion Baptist Church in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where he served faithfully, and was affectionately called Pastor Grays.
He became Moderator and President of the Congress of Christian Education of the Mount Zion Baptist Association, comprised of churches from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He also served as facilitator for the Laymen’s Retreat of the American Baptist Men of West Virginia, and the Vice President of the Parkersburg Ministerial Alliance.

More than all of his accomplishments, both secular and spiritual, Charles L. Grays was happiest when he was with his family. He had such a big heart that contained a lot of love for all who knew him. He was so proud of his children and he loved his family. Without a second thought, he would travel miles and miles to be close to his loved ones, to minister to their needs, and bring joy to his family and friends. He was a loving, prayerful, and giving man, who described himself as a tearjerker. He loved westerns, basketball, the Temptations, Philly pretzels, and Progresso Soup. Charles lived a full life with plenty of love and laughter. He would always say, “Charlie G, that’s me!” Regarding his preaching, he always said that he was just "the mailman delivering the mail.” He always had an encouraging word and would often give advice by saying, “Let the Lord lead you.”

He had so many sayings that will undoubtedly continue to ring in our hearts, such as: “Ain’t God alright, I KNOW that’s right!” “I got invisible bricks for all you liars!” “I am terrifically well, fantastically nice, and better than that now that I see you!” His most famous phrase before preaching was, “I don’t mean to worry your patience long” and who can forget him saying towards the end of his sermons, “I’m about to close” for the third or fourth time. He instilled one particular scripture into the people of Zion: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7)

His favorite scripture is found in Galatians 2:20 and it reads: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

He was preceded in death by his mother Marie, father Charles, brother Robert, niece Mikayla, and daughter Darlene Anita. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Lisa; his children, Apostle Charles Edward (Debbie) Grays, Gerald Brian Grays, Christopher Lawrence (Aja) Grays, Angelica Marie (Damon) Dandridge, Danielle Christine Sarita and David Jonathan Isaiah Grays; his grandchildren, Nazirah (Jermaine) Redmond, Ayesha Grays, Nia Grays, Talea Leshon Grays, Bryana Juanita Grays, Dayne Sinclair Grays, Christa Aria Grays, and Christopher Charles Grays; his great grandchildren, Za’ri and Za’Mya Redmond, Bra’Niyah Hart, Janaz Hooper, and Miles Francis Grays; siblings, Thurman Grays, Charlene Meekins, (Charlise & Eboni), and Sarita (Arthur and Shakerra) Langford; one aunt, Mrs. Ethel (Deirdre) White; a host of cousins, other nieces and nephews, Zion members, Trinity church family, friends and loved ones.

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Previous Events





9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Trinity Baptist Church

461 St. Clair Avenue
Columbus, OH 43203

Floral deliveries for the family of Rev. Charles L. Grays will be accepted at the funeral home, 12-5p, on Friday, May 18, 2018.

Funeral Service




10:00 AM
Trinity Baptist Church

461 St. Clair Avenue
Columbus, OH 43203

Cemetery Details


Glen Rest Memorial Estate

8029 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068


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