Gray, Arthur George (1882-1963)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ARTHUR GEORGE GRAY: born in Gibraltar in 1882. He was the son of a regular Army soldier, and his childhood was spent in several places including three years in the West Indies. His early life was hard, and he had few educational opportunities. His mother died in 1900, and in the same year he started to attend the Primitive Methodist Chapel. In 1901 he was converted, and shortly afterwards he began studying with a view to becoming a preacher. He encountered strong opposition from his father, but he persevered, and in 1906, after a year as a hired local preacher and a year as an evangelist at Coalville, he entered Hartley College.

In the course of an effective ministry he served in Birmingham, Biggleswade, Blackwood (South Wales), Leicester, Nottingham, Staveley, Chesterfield, Skipton and Cleckheaton. From 1915 to 1918 he was a Chaplain to the Forces, and saw service in Flanders and Italy. 

He retired to Nottingham. As a supernumerary he remained active, and for a time had charge of a church in the Nottingham South Circuit and was also chaplain to Saxondale Mental Hospital. When he gave up these duties he shared fully in the life of Gordon Road Methodist Church. During the last two years of his life he was a very sick man, but he carried his sufferings with great fortitude. 

Throughout his ministry he showed a warm devotion to Christ and a fine loyalty to the Church. He was a capable administrator, a fine preacher and a sensitive pastor. His life was coloured by the hardships of his youth, and always he was alive to the difficulties of others. He was an unwavering Christian Socialist, an advocate of simplicity in worship and an effective exponent of the evangelical doctrines. In music and reading he found relaxation, and in painting he found a further opportunity to express the richness of his personality. His whole life bore upon it the stamp of humility, and in all his dealings with people he was gentle, considerate and ever grateful. He lived as effectively as he preached, and all who came into contact with him were warmed by the quality of his life. 

He died on 11 July 1963 in the eighty-second year of his age and the fifty-fourth year of his ministry.

Family

Arthur was born on 5 May 1882 in Gibralter. His father was Samuel Gray, a solider in the Royal Engineers. He spent part of his early life in Jamaica where his father was stationed. Follow this link to read more about his time as a WW1 chaplain.

He married Hilda Olive Rushby (1882-1967) in the summer of 1913 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Douglas Eric (1916-2004) – a car salesman (1939)
  • Marian (b1920)

Arthur died on 11 July 1963 at West Bridgeford, Nottinghamshire.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1909 Birmingham V
  • 1911 Biggleswade
  • 1913 Blackwood
  • 1916 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1919 Leicester I
  • 1923 Nottingham IV
  • 1928 Staveley
  • 1934 Chesterfield
  • 1938 Skipton
  • 1942 Cleckheaton
  • 1947 Nottingham (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1964/189

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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