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Ray Hodges

Funeral services for Rev. Ray Hodges were held Feb. 17, 2024, at Shalom Baptist Church in Silver Creek, with Rev. Jimmy Harvey officiating, assisted by Rev. Richard Cothern.  Interment followed in the Shalom Cemetery.  Rev. Hodges, 79, entered into the eternal rest of his Lord Feb. 14 at his home in New Hebron. Saulters Moore Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Pallbearers included Chadrick Ray Hodges Sr., Chadrick Ray Hodges Jr., Beau Peavey, and Shane Aultman.  Honorary pallbearers included Jaxson Russell, Jayson Aultman, Kemper Peavey, Tylan Reeves, Waylon Reeves, Westyn Sanders, and Rowen Cooper Sanders.

Born on Aug. 3, 1944, in Angie, La., Ray Hodges grew up with a strong sense of service and devotion. After completing high school, he enlisted in the United States Army before feeling a calling from God to pursue a career in ministry.  With an unwavering commitment to growing in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, “Brother Ray,” as he was affectionately known to the scores who loved him, furthered his educational journey at the New Orleans Theological Seminary in New Orleans, La.; Southwest Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas; Rice Seminary in Jacksonville, Fla.; and the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.  Through years of diligent study, he earned both a master’s degree and a Doctorate in Theology. Bro. Ray exemplified the biblical principle found in 2 Timothy 2:15: “Studying to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

Bro. Ray’s passion for ministry led him on a lifelong journey of serving Southern Baptist churches across multiple states. In a loving partnership with his wife, he shepherded congregations with love and dedication, instilling hope and faith within their hearts. Locally, he ministered at Crooked Creek Baptist Church, where he made lasting connections with countless individuals and families. Additionally, he played an instrumental role in founding the Shalom Baptist Church – an enduring testament to his commitment to spreading God’s message of love and unity.

After 48 years as a full-time pastor, Bro. Ray decided to retire but continued to supply pulpits whenever his gifts were needed. His compassionate guidance touched many lives throughout his tenure as he offered words of comfort, shared biblical wisdom, and provided unwavering support to those in need. His dedication as a servant of God shone brightly through each sermon he preached and every life he touched.

Beyond his pastoral duties, Bro. Ray Hodges possessed a remarkable talent for carpentry and woodworking.  He also enjoyed being out on the dirt track where he fearlessly raced his L88 car.  Devoted to gospel music, Bro. Ray also loved to get with his fellow brothers in Christ and sing of a blessed hope and an eternal home beyond the skies.

In addition to his parents, Bro. Ray was preceded in death by his daughter, Syvonda Ready, and siblings, Willie Hodges and Carolyn McCain.

His memory will forever be cherished by his beloved wife of 58 years, Gladys Ruth Hodges, of New Hebron; his daughter, Mydonya (Keith) Shows, of New Hebron; his son, Chad (Lindsey) Hodges, of Hooker; his brother, Steve Hodges, of Silver Creek; sisters, Brenda Newsome, of Franklinton, La., and Mary Hamilton, of Gulfport.  The legacy of their Pawpaw will also live on through his grandchildren, Shane Aultman, Beau Peavey, Erica Reeves, Katlin Graves, Meagan Ready, Alexis Hodges, Chadrick Ray Hodges Jr., and 15 great-grandchildren.