Zion Baptist Church installs new minister

PARKERSBURG — Zion Baptist Church at Eighth and Clay streets in Parkersburg held an ordination and installation ceremony July 21 for its new minister, Pastor Lisa Grays.

Grays, who said she was the first female African American pastor ordained in the conference, is the first female pastor in Zion’s 150-plus years. Her late husband, Dr. Charles Grays, was Zion’s previous pastor for 10 1/2 years.

For the service, the worship leader was the Rev. Janet Sheppard. The invocation was delivered by Pastor Larry Dale.

Scripture was read by Deacon Lionel Chaney and the Rev. Nelson Crawley introduced the preacher. Pastor Victor N. Davis presided at the Act of Ordination and Installation.

In 1990, Grays and her family moved to Columbus at the Trinity Baptist Church. Grays was active in the Youth and Music Departments, serving as a Sunday school teacher and singing in choirs where her gifts were used to glorify God and edify His people.

Grays was licensed to preach the gospel in June 2007 by Trinity Baptist Church under the pastorate of the Rev. Victor M. Davis. Shortly thereafter she and her family moved to Parkersburg to serve Zion Baptist Church.

Grays was a teacher for more than 20 years and worked in special education. She has a heart for the youth and also for those who are challenged with disabilities.

God has allowed her to service the secular and faith communities in a variety of capacities.

Grays is grateful for her children, Christopher, Angelica, Danielle and David. Her bonus children are Aja, Damon and Nathaniel, and grandchildren Christa and Christopher Jr. God also has blessed her with a beautiful church family.

A scripture that is particularly close to her heart is found at Romans Chapter 12 verses 1 and 2. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”