VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/23/20)—Former American Baptist Men USA (ABMen) President and former Executive Director Kenna “Lucky” Ray died on October 20, 2020.
While serving with ABMen in a number of leadership positions, Lucky demonstrated a unique ability not only to strategically plan ministry activities, but to excite those around him about the men’s ministry vision and seeing events, missions and other ministry activities to fruition.
“Lucky brightened the lives of countless people with his contagious smile and his passion and joy for the Lord. He will be greatly missed in our American Baptist family,” said ABCUSA Interim General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods.
Bob Slechta, executive director of American Baptist Men USA said, “For those of us that knew Lucky, we were blessed to have such a Man of Faith as a friend and mentor…. Please join ABMen President Bill Morningstar and our entire national board in prayer for Lucky’s wife Lee, son Kevin Ray and daughter Lisa Ray Norman and his entire extended family, church family and many many friends. Lucky will be deeply missed by all that knew him.”
Kenna Scott “Lucky” Ray was born November 5, 1944 in Charleston, W.V. Lucky served his country in the US Army Reserves and WV Army National Guard. He was a lifelong member of Bethel Baptist Church where he held many positions of leadership and service and was active in the choir and as a lay minister. Lucky was a Past President of ABMen USA, served as President of the ABMen of West Virginia, and also served as President of the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia Association of ABMen. Lucky served in various leadership positions in South Charleston in the Kanawha Valley Association of West Virginia Baptist, and on the West Virginia Baptist Convention Commissions, as well as Executive and General Boards of American Baptist Churches USA. Lucky also served as the Treasurer of the Baptist World Alliance – Men’s Department ministry.
He made numerous mission trips to Nicaragua and within the United States, helping where the Lord led him. He was also a long-time member of the AB Men Disaster Relief team and made many trips in and out of WV to assist with flood cleanup, home repairs and builds.
Lucky was preceded in death by his parents, John and Eileen (Perry) Ray, brothers, Keith “Bunny” Ray, Ronald “Happy” Ray, Charles “Dick” Ray, Robert “Jolly” Ray and sister, Linda Hannon. He is survived by his loving wife, of 52 years, Leola “Lee”; daughter, Lisa Norman, her husband Randy and his son Alex of Cross Lanes, WV; son, Kevin Ray of South Charleston, WV; sisters, Elizabeth “Susie” Hughes (Ronnie) of Ashton, WV and Evelyn Ray of Cross Lanes, WV.
A service to honor the life of Lucky will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday October 24, 2020 at Bethel Baptist Church, South Charleston, with Rev. Mark Jarrell officiating. Private family interment will follow at Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans, WV.
The family will receive friends from 12 to 2 pm on Saturday at the church. Please follow all recommended guidelines from the Governor and local health department by practicing social distancing and wearing of masks for your safety and for the safety of others.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to American Baptist Men at ABMen.org or Bethel Baptist Church, 5028 Kentucky St., South Charleston, WV 25309.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.