Rev. Dr. James B. Gray, Jr.
The Spirit of the Lord has rested upon, Rev. Dr. James Benjamin Gray, Jr., enabling him to be the pastor of the Pleasant Zion Baptist Church for 47 years.
Born in Edgefield, South Carolina on March 30, 1936, to the late Carrie and the late James Benjamin Gray, Sr. Pastor Gray began his education in the public schools of Edgefield, South Carolina, continuing on at Benedict State University, Hampton Institute, Baltimore Community College, and the Baltimore School of the Bible. Pastor Gray holds a Bachelor of Theology and Doctor of Divinity from National Theological Seminary College and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Virginia Union University.
Under the guidance of the late Rev. W. B. Coleman, he was ordained at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Edgefield, South Carolina on August 1954. Upon moving to Baltimore, Pastor Gray continued his ministry as an Associate Minister at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church under the pastorship of the late Rev. Samuel B. Redd.
The Lord called Pastor Gray on January 9, 1971 to become the pastor of the Pleasant Zion Baptist Church. Through Pastor Gray's leadership, he has developed many ministries. Two new churches and fellowship halls were built. As the visionary Executive Director of the Pleasant Zion Youth Outreach Center, programs were established to build healthy economic communities and improve the quality of life for families. The Helping Hands Program, Food Pantry distributes food weekly to over 2,000 low income individuals and families in the community yearly.
God continues to multiply this congregation through his teaching, leadership, spiritual vitality, Christian love, and fellowship. Pastor Gray has been anointed by the Holy Spirit to teach and preach with enthusiasm. He teaches the weekly Bible Study, church leadership workshops, and the adult Vacation Bible School classes.
No matter the hour, he is there for the sick, the shut-in, the downhearted, the wayward spirited, and the bereaved. He is also a Spiritual Advisor for pastors and ministers.
Pastor Gray’s involvement extends to various community, civic, religious, and educational organizations. He is past president of United Baptist Missionary Convention and Auxiliaries of Maryland the Baltimore County and Vicinity Ministerial Alliance, Inc., and Minister’s Evening Conference; and member of the Minister's Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity and the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Yearly, he attends the Annual Statewide Institute and Congress of Christian Education. He is the recipient of numerous commendations and honors.
Pastor Gray is married to Mary E. (Pinckney) Gray for 56 years and has one daughter, Marvella.