Reverend Vivian W. Gray, affectionately called “Lou” by her close family and friends was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 5, 1939 to the late Wesley and Bertha Williams. She went home to the Lord on Sunday, January 6, 2019.
Reverend Gray received her early education in the Birmingham, Alabama Public School System. She also earned a Bachelor degree in English Education from Miles College in Birmingham. She moved to Delaware where she was later employed as an educator in the New Jersey Public School System. She also taught pre-school classes at People’s Settlement and in the James Groves Adult Education Program. After 25 years of service she retired from the New Jersey Public School System. She later taught at George Read Middle School as a long-term substitute teacher in New Castle, Delaware.
She accepted Christ at an early age and joined the Steward Chapel C.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1963 she joined St. Paul UAME Church of Wilmington, Delaware. In the 1980’s Reverend Gray accepted her call to ministry, serving under the tutelage of her Pastor, the late Bishop Michael S. Moulden of St. Paul UAME Church. In 1994 Reverend Gray’s first charge was to Pastor, Friendship UAME Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1998 Reverend Gray was assigned as Pastor of Bethany UAME Church. In the UAME Conference, she served as Recording Secretary of the Ministerial Association, as a teacher, and held the position of Vice-President of the Boulden Seminary until her ministerial retirement in 2005.
Lou was personable, loving and kid to everyone she met. Children often clung to her, calling her “Grandmom Gray”. She loved music and she loved to sing. She often sang solos in church. Her favorite solo was “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”.
She was preceded in death by her late husband, John Paul Gray.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her daughter, Stephanie Carter (John); one granddaughter, Desiree Cooper (Will); one grandson, John R. Flamer known as “Randy”; three great grandchildren, Desmond and Dierra Cooper and Alexander Flamer; one Goddaughter, Tessa Fields; Godson, Jonathan Thornton; a spiritual daughter and mentee, Reverend Kim R. Moore; devoted friends, Ernestine and J.J. Johnson and Doretha M. Lewis and a host of other relatives and friends.
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