Ray was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico; his parents lived in Belen, and moved to Baldwin Park, California when he was a year old. Ray was heavily influenced by his father who introduced him to his first joint when he was in 7th grade. In his freshman year at Bishop Amat Catholic High School in La Puente he began abusing cocaine and alcohol. Every weekend Ray would find a place to party and get wasted.
After getting kicked out of Bishop Amat for being a bad influence Ray began attending Baldwin Park High School, where he continued down the same road of partying and mischievousness. When he graduated he was hired as a superintendent for a construction company making good money and at age 19 he purchased an ’85 Corvette. Still living for the weekend, his drug problems got worse and things went downhill fast! Pastor Ray remembers, “My mom was a Christian and was always preaching to me. At times I was so high I thought I was going to die, I made promises to God that if He would just help me through this high. I would give my life to Him.” God brought him through but Ray never kept his end of the bargain.
One day while Ray was going to score drugs, he remembers hearing a voice. Whether, it was in his mind or audible he doesn’t know, but he heard, “Go to church.” He thought he was going crazy and ignored it and then he started to get out of his truck when he heard it again. This time Ray started the car, punched the gas and went to Calvary Chapel West Covina. God spoke to him through Pastor Raul Ries and Ray gave his life to the Lord and has never looked back.
Months after coming to Christ Ray felt that God was calling him into the ministry and he went to Bible School at C..C. Golden Springs. He married his wife, Margarite, and in 1992 after their first daughter Alexzandra was born they moved to Belen, New Mexico where they started Calvary Chapel Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV).
In October of 1992 Pastor Ray and Margarite started a weekly home Bible study in the basement of their home. Once the home study was established they began meeting on Sundays for services in their basement. The church was incorporated on July 18, 1994 and by December 1994 the church of 30 people had outgrown the basement and they rented their first building on Becker Street in downtown Belen. By April 1997 the church of 120 members had outgrown the Becker Street location and moved to a new location in Rio Communities. By the end of 1999 the Rio Communities facility also became too small to comfortably accommodate the weekly worshipers.
After several years and attempts to rent the only suitable available space in Belen, the vacated Wal-Mart store, Wal-Mart agreed to lease the building through their remaining lease period. By this time Pastor Ray had been blessed with three more children: Annalise, Raymond and Henry. CCRGV held their first service in their new facility April 2001, Easter Sunday.
In August of 2004 CCRGV completed the new 1200 seating sanctuary. In 2014 CCRGV purchased its building and is the home of Canon Christian Academy a K5-12 school, and Grounded Café and Bookstore a full service coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch daily.
Pastor Ray has been blessed to serve his community for the last 23 years and it is the goal of CCRGV to continue to teach the Word of God, reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister to the needs of the people of the Rio Grande Valley.
Pastor Ray can be heard daily on Grounded Radio on KNKT 107.1 at 3p. and online at knkt.com. He can also be seen daily at 10:30 p.m. on KAZQ T.V.