Pastor Profile: Kevin Ray

Name: Kevin Ray

Age: 42

Church: Salvation Army

Background: My employment background includes assembling bikes at a department store; mailroom work; managing an ice cream, popcorn and frozen yogurt shop, and I was a bank teller for three years.

Hometown: Omaha, Neb.

Your Family: My sister is the oldest, an older brother, a twin brother, a younger brother, and my mom and dad. My wife, Tammy; a son, Joshua, 15; a daughter, Sara, 11; and a son, Caleb, 10.

When you were a kid, what did you think you would be doing as an adult? I had dreams of traveling and singing, recording an album in Nashville, Tenn., performing on television and having a family. And God gave me all of that.

What is the best part of being a pastor? Helping people in need and seeing people change their lives for the better.

What is the worst part about being a pastor? Wanting to see change happen in someone’s life, accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, and they choose not to.

What is your favorite Bible verse? Matthew 5:13-16

If you could talk to God, what is one question you would ask him? Was it Satan that invented Krispy Kreme donuts?

What are your hobbies? Cooking, gaming, walking, fishing and making puppets.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I was in a Christian band called Free Spirit. I traveled for two years, in the United States and Canada, singing, evangelizing and moving sound equipment. We would often stay in people’s homes, and they would try to feed us all kinds of different things. We recorded an album in Nashville and had the same backup singers as Sandi Patt. On New Year’s Eve of 1987, we performed for thousands of young people at Niagara Falls, N.Y.

What was your most embarrassing moment behind the pulpit? One time I was praying and my daughter, who was 2 years old, came running into the chapel from the nursery. As I was finishing my prayer, I picked her up and she said in a loud, greeting tone, “I’m wet!”

Who is your hero and why? My father-in-law. He and his family have followed God’s leading into all kinds of places, and sometimes they were faced with certain hardship. He led them and is still leading us with determined faith.

What is your greatest fear? Snakes.

What is your greatest hope? To see my children succeed.

What do you think is the most important lesson a young person can learn today? That their dreams and goals are obtainable, but it will take time and determination and sometimes sacrifice.

What is your favorite taste? Buttered popcorn, especially Jelly Belly.

What is your favorite smell? Cedar burning in the fireplace.

—Compiled by CNJ Staff Writer Tonya Fennell