On April 28, 2009 the Rev. Elder Beauford Cray went home to be with the Lord. He was a great man, a wonderful father, grandfather, uncle, brother, cousin, friend, spiritual guide and educator. He was a blessing! His favorite phrase was "tell the Lord thank you. "  He will be sorely missed!







SUNRISE April 30, 1927                                  SUNSET April 28, 2009


Wednesday May 6, 2009

12:00 Noon


Prince of Peace Temple

Church of God in Christ

669 Kensington Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14215





 Elder Michael Payton



Pastor Vernal L Harris


Chief Officient

Bishop James R Wright Sr.




Beauford Cray was born April 30, 1927 in Baxley, Georgia, to Leslie and Ruby Cray.  He was the fifth child of eight children:  John (Deceased), Carzell (Deceased), Leadley (Deceased), Geraldine (deceased), Joel (Eva Jean), and Gene (Arelela).


He attended Appling County public schools in Baxley, Georgia.  Beauford enlisted in the US Navy Reserve and was later promoted to Petty Officer.  During World War II Petty Officer Cray received numerous medals of bravery and achievement. He retired from the US Navy after over twenty years of service. 


Beauford was baptized at an early age at Rachel Baptist Church in Baxley, Georgia.  His love for Christ lead him to become involved in outreach ministries.  In addition, he became actively involved in community service outreach with the Community Action Organization in Buffalo, NY.  Among many accomplishments, he was responsible for the erection of the community flag pole at East Ferry and Humbolt.


He was a member of New Zion Baptist Church where he organized the first choir and was ordained as a deacon.


Beauford was ordained at Faith Temple Church of God in Christ August 22, 1996, under the leadership of Elder Michael Payton in the first jurisdiction with Presiding Bishop Leroy R. Anderson.


He was also a member of Maranatha Church of God in Christ where he was the Associate Elder and Assistant Pastor under the leadership of  Elder James Henderson.


Elder Beauford Cray, until his departure was a member of Prince of Peace Temple Church of God in Christ. 


Beauford leaves to cherish his memory a loving wife Ruth Solomon Cray. Six children: Larry (Ruby), Zebedee (Deceased), Leslie, James, Honyetta, and Gina (Kevin).


Two brothers, Joel (Eva Jean), and Gene (Arelela).


Nine Grand Children, five Great Grand Children and one God Daughter and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.









Dear Granddad

I miss us hanging out & doing things together

I miss all the great times

We shared

 You were a great, grandfather

You were always there.

I’ll always keep you

In my heart

Your memory will last 4 ever

Always remember I love you

 Until we meet again

Love always

Lawrence your Grandson


You never know when you have someone good until their gone

And the good always leave us 1st but we know you’re somewhere safe and you’ll always have a special place in my heart

I love you grandpa


Briana Salomon


 In Memory of Sister Arelela Cray.

"In God we trust"


During the year 1965, I was priviledged to serve in the ministry of John Wesley and Mount Nebo United Methodist Churches, Maryland.


Each Sunday I observed some young people attending services with their children; among them were Gene and Arlela Cray with their child, Jeannia. Anthony arrived later . Mr &Mrs Hull , Lela's parents, were among the  leaders  in the life of the Church at John Wesley  and still had silent control in the activities of the family.  Gene and Arelela were attendees without full particpation in any area of church life, Gene did an occasional solo and once or twice was joined by Lela in a duet .


The Crays seemed to either tolerate or had a liking for me, a grass-widow just arrived from the island of Barbados, without any family members around. Almost every Sunday I was invited to join the Hull's and Crays for lunch and or dinner. Occasionally other  family members, Fannie and Stanley would join us. I felt like a member of the family as we joined in conversaion and in fellowsip during those early days.


Arelela once came to inspect the parsonage  and to see if she could add a female touch to the bachelor pad.(She always pronounced my name Ehwin  instead of Edwin). She found the kitchen sink filled with unwashed dishes  and has been the only person, up to now. who has reprimanded me for not washing and cleaning the house.She called me a SLOB. I learnt my lesson. Since then my home area has been clean.


When my wife and daughters joined me, our two families quickly became friends; the games we played, the fellowship we enjoyed and friendship we shared cemented our relationship. Our two daughters apppreciated and enjoyed the relationship which they shared with Jeannia and Anthony, Uncle Gene and Aunt Lela. .Forty six years later they recall the wonderful experiences and the joy they shared.


Arelela Cray has contributed to the education of countless individuals from and  among the citizens of Talbot County, Cambridge, Mardela Springs, Hebron and Salisbury in the State of Maryland.  I do not know how many times she retired, because each time I spoke to her in between silent periods she would inform me that she was back at work. She could not stay at home when the Board of Education of Talbot county or Wicomico invited her to help. . Her health demanded that she slow down, cut-back , rest awhile. Eventually she grew tired and her teacher's voice and contributions came to a halt. We are all grateful for the services and contributions she presented to her colleagues, her students, their homes, families and communities.


Within the United Methodist Church, Lela committed herself to serving from Hebron as her local base. She held offices in the Penninsula Conference, especially among the Women's Ministry. She was an avid reader of the Book of Discipline and any material published to enhance her contributions to the understanding and growth of women in the Conference.

She became President of the Women's Ministry; travelled throughout the Conference championing the causes of Women; conducting worshops; vigilant in enhancing quality of service; empowering, enabling and enobling her sisters and brothers in Christ; Arelela set high standards for those whom she led and for those who follow. The United Methodist Church of the Penninsula Conference and throughout the United States has been priviledged and blessed  and owe a debt of gratitude for the servant role and contributions of our sister in Christ.


 Lela was a devoted wife, to Gene she was greater than his right hand.To the children the mother who inspired, counseled  and loved them. To her siblings she was supportive , always available and became the matriarch of the Hull and Cray families.


In recent years Sis Cray was confined to inaction because of her illness. She may have expressed concerns and complained to others; but each time I spoke to her, she was calm, cool and collected; her body was crumbling; but her mind was lucid and her spirit enjoyed the assurances of God's promises.


 Gene, Jeannia, Anthony, Fanie, family members and friends, Church nd community members, professsionals and students, pastors and laity; let us not mourn the passing of Sis Lela; let us rejoice  that we were priviledged to share her presence among us as a servant of manking and a child of God.


May her soul rest in the arms of Jesus, who assures us that He has  prepared  a place for us in His Father's Mansion.

Rest in peace dear Sister. 

Edwin N. Toppin, Florida.

Feb. 5th 2011