Meet Our Pastor
Pastor Johnny F. Ray hails from Ackerman, Mississippi and has been in the ministry for over thirty-five years. Pastor Ray began his ministry as a Student Pastor. Throughout his time at MSU he traveled the world with the Cecil Williamson Ministry as an evangelist and vocalist. He has traveled to over eleven countries carrying the Gospel through preaching and singing. Pastor Ray has sung on several recordings and recorded a solo album produced by Terry Blackwood entitled “I Have Something To Sing About.”
Pastor Ray was educated at Mississippi State University having earned a Bachelor of Education Degree and Emory University having earned a Master of Divinity Degree. He was ordained an Elder of the Mississippi Conference in 1986, later transferring his Conference Membership to the North Georgia Conference. Pastor Ray has worked as Pastor, Evangelist, Family Counselor, Music Minister, Youth Pastor, and Vocalist in several diverse ministry settings including the Congress on Evangelism of the United Methodist Church, Churches in Brazil, Churches in Cuba, the Dhrur Jathra Campmeeting near Hyderabad, India, several of North Georgia’s Campmeetings and Churches, as well as local Churches and Crusade settings across America. Pastor Ray is currently enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary as a Doctor of Ministry candidate.
Pastor Ray is married to Dawn Harber-Ray and they have four grown children: Cheryl Catherine, Jonathan, Tech Sgt. Trevor Williams, and Susanna . Pastor Johnny has five grandchildren. Chayse (daughter of C.c.), Catie (Daughter of C.c. and Jeremy Patton), Alice (daughter of Jonathan), Gabriel (son of Jonathan and Janice Ray), and Ezra (son of Susanna and Jordan Scroggs).
Pastor Ray currently is Lead Pastor at Cornelia United Methodist Church in Cornelia, Georgia and is a Member of the North Georgia Annual Conference.
A Little CUMC History
Formed in 1888, Cornelia United Methodist was the first church built in Cornelia, Georgia by Methodist Minister Dr. H. P. Fitch. Starting with humble beginnings of 20 members, the Methodist shared a small, white frame church with local Baptists until the Baptists could build a church of their own. The church relocated to different locations throughout Cornelia for expansion and once due to a fire in 1955 before settling on Wiley Street. The building was consecrated in June of 1967 and remains in here today. In 1988 Cornelia United Methodist Celebrated its centennial year under the theme "100 years United in Faith and Committed to Christ." The year 2013 served as the 125th anniversary of Cornelia United Methodist as well as the 15 year anniversary of the Latino ministry that began in 1998 and was consecrated in 2001 moving to a separate facility in Baldwin, Georgia.
As God has revealed in the Scriptures, a church is a living organism that has its strength and life through its connection to Jesus Christ. For over 125 years, the Spirit of Crist has expressed the ministry of the Kingdom of God through the worship, witness, service and prayers of the Cornelia United Methodist Church. Godly people, both past and present, have given themselves freely in service to God and the world through Cornelia UMC. We can only stand in awe of their faith and vision that has resulted in such a vibrant church.
We are grateful not only for those who have served faithfully in different times, but we can give thanks for those who presently share with us in service, learning and witness. We truly have been "fearfully and wonderfully made."