July 27, 2016
The Rt. Rev. Duncan Montgomery Gray Jr., 89, died July 15, 2016 at home in Jackson, Miss. The retired seventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi was 89.
He was buried in Canton July 19 after a Requiem Eucharist at the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew in Jackson.
In his homily, the Rev. Canon David H. Johnson said, in part:
“We seek the spiritual North Star. Duncan Montgomery Gray Jr. was not the North Star. But he pointed us toward it. His life was a persistent pointing toward that which would ground us – faith in Jesus Christ.
“It would be easy and tempting to reduce his nearly 90 years to one event, significant and important though it was…. The story of his attempt to quell the rioting crowd at Ole Miss on Sept. 30, 1962 is well known. Less well known is the stance he took as president of [University of the South] School of Theology student body in 1953, even in opposition to the University’s administration.
“And there was the courageous leadership he provided in the tense days in Meridian, when, synagogues, churches and homes were being bombed and deadly threats were a part of life. But he was not the North Star….
“He was an evangelist. He preached the word. He led by example. He brought people into the faith, and he showed them the pathway toward the light. During his episcopate, he baptized 852 new Christians. He confirmed or received 11,446 Episcopalians. He preached 2,034 sermons, and Lord knows how many miles he traveled. But he was not the North Star….”
The video below includes excerpts from the Requiem Eucharist in Jackson, the burial service in Canton, and the full homily by the Rev. Canon David H. Johnson.
Materials relating to the funeral:
News or commentary on Bishop Gray’s death:
Bishop Duncan M. Gray Jr. and Araminta Stone Johnston shared a book-signing at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi on May 10, 2011. In this video, Gray thanks his wife Ruthie for her support of him in his lifetime of advocacy for human rights and justice.