Melvin Ray Holt
The Rev. Melvin Ray Holt, Sr. was the eighth of nine children born to Melvin and Nancy Holt of Robeline, La. He graduated from Coushatta High School, earned a Bachelor of Religion from Centenary College of Louisiana and the Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist Church in June of 1961.
Ray Holt was a missionary to the Philippines where he served the Aeta people group in northern Luzon. He also preached, mentored young pastors and served the Philippine people in disaster relief. He became the first nonnative to be invited to membership in Philippine Language Society.
Ray served 14 different churches as a student pastor, associate pastor, senior pastor and "retired" pastor in Texas, Louisiana and Ohio.
Ray was a dedicated scout, serving as an Assistant Scout Master and a Cub Scout pack master. His proudest and most personal accomplishment was the establishment and leadership of a troop for handicapped scouts at St. Marks UMC in Monroe, La. For his love and service to Scouting, Ray was awarded the Catholic Bronze Pelican and the Silver Beaver.
After retiring from full time ministry, Ray became involved in Walk to Emmaus, its youth program, Chrysalis, and Kairos prison ministry.
Ray was a musician who grew up singing gospel with his parents and his many siblings. He taught himself guitar as a young pastor and then studied classical guitar in the Philippines. Through the last years of his life he continued to pursue musical interests, singing in The Church of The Saviour Choir and trying his hand at mountain dulcimer and dobro.
Ray married his beloved wife of 57 years, Elizabeth Jones, in 1956. They raised 4 sons. He was the dear father of Melvin Ray, Jr.,(Julie), Michael R. (Cindy), David P. (Julie) and Charlie G.; dear grandfather of Catherine, Carolyn, Drew and Micheal; dear brother of Donald G., Sr. (Elsie) and the late Melvin D., Jr, James, Roy, Jack, Tommie Sylvest, Lola Donaho and Ledi Freeman. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Those who wish may make contributions in his name to General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, for the Philippines, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10115; Kairos Prison Ministry of Ohio, PO Box 14490, Columbus, OH 43214-0490; The Boy Scouts of America, 2241 Woodland Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115 or The Church of The Saviour, 2537 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts., OH 44118, where Funeral Services will be held Monday, Feb. 17th at 4 PM. FRIENDS MAY CALL AT BROWN-FORWARD, 17022 CHAGRIN BLVD., SHAKER HTS., OH, SUNDAY, FEB. 16TH FROM 3-5 PM. For additional information, directions and to sign the guestbook, please log online to www.Brown-Forward.com.
BROWN-FORWARD SERVICE 216 752-1200
Published in Shreveport Times on Feb. 16, 2014