Weathers, Ray Rowland

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(July, 2003)

The Hamilton Herald-News, January 22, 2004 

(from the 2001 First Baptist Church Directory)

The end of this earthly life for Ray Rowland Weathers, 68, occurred, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004, in Temple, Bell County, TX.  Burial in Oakwood Cemetery in Hamilton on Friday, Jan. 16 preceded the Celebration of Life in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church. Ministers who participated in the Celebration were Rev. Brad Davis, former Minster of Music, First Baptist Church, Hamilton; Rev. George Dixon, former pastor, Blue Ridge Baptist Church, Hamilton; Rev. Kevin McDonald, pastor, Chapel of the Hills Baptist Church, Lake Buchanan; Rev. Jarred Parnell, pastor, Rosedale Baptist Church, Austin; Mrs. Janet Petersen, Children’s Minster, First Baptist Church, Benbrook; Rev. Randy Russell, former pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Hamilton; Dr. Billy P. Smith, Salado Presbyterian Church, Salado; Rev. Linda Wimberly, Pastor, United Methodist Church, Walnut Springs; and Rev. John Winner, Administrator, Harvest Christian School, Fort Worth. 

Mr. Weathers was born July 25, 1935, in Marietta, Love County, OK, to Mandy Martha (Rowland) and Richard Omer “Dick” Weathers. 

At the age of 23 months he contracted Infantile Paralysis (Polio), which forever drastically altered his life. Mr. Weathers was a survivor and a fighter, determined to accomplish every challenge as well as being able to do all things, which his older sister and younger brother could do. 

At the age of nine years he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the Master of his life and the remainder of his life was devoted to service to our Lord. The Lord blessed Mr. Weathers with a deep rich bass voice which he utilized in singing praises to our Lord and in narrating many Christmas and Easter cantatas. 

He attended elementary schools in Dale, Winters, and Ballinger. Homebound services did not exist while he was growing up, hence he had to drop out of school during the long months of recuperation from orthopedic surgeries. He graduated from Big Spring High School in 1955. He earned an Associate of Arts from Howard County Junior College (now Howard College) in 1958 and a Bachelor of Science from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, in 1962. He also studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth; the University of Texas, Arlington; and Tarleton University. 

On May 31, 1959, at the First Baptist Church in Big Spring, his grandfather, Rev. Walter Pervia Rowland and Dr. Phillip Dick O’Brien presided in the wedding ceremony in which Elreeta Ann Crain became his bride. 

He was ordained as a Minister of Music by Viewpark Baptist Church, in Fort Worth in 1964. Southcliff Baptist Church of Fort Worth, ordained him as a deacon in 1972. Mr. Weathers served as Minister of Music at Greenhill Baptist Church, Snyder; Viewpark Baptist Church, Fort Worth; First Baptist Church, Aspermont; Crusaders Chapel, Fort Worth and Blue Ridge Baptist Church and Calvary Baptist Church, Hamilton. In addition, he worked in the broadcast industry in both radio and TV, in sales, as a shoe repairman, and as a teacher until health forced his retirement in February, 2003. 

Mr. Weathers was a member of First Baptist Church, Hamilton; of the Leon River Valley Sons of the American Revolution; Phi Theta Kappa; First Families of Texas, and was one of the directors of the Blue Ridge Cemetery Association. 

He was preceded in death by his father; his sister, Virginia Izella “Ginger” (Weathers) Cowley, and his brother, Rev. Jimmy Wayne “Jim” Weathers. 

Survivors include his wife, Elreeta; his mother; Martha Weathers; his daughter, D’Ann (Weathers) Herrod and her husband, Nathan Herrod; his brother-in-law, Earl Cowley, Jr.; his niece, Beverly Campbell; nephews, Gerry Cowley and his wife, Pam; and Bobby Cowley and his wife, Elaine; grandnieces, Michelle Campbell,  Meghan Cowley,  and Shannon Guara; grand-nephew, Ian Cowley,  and numerous other relatives and special friends. 

Pallbearers were Bill Barkley, Todd Barkley, Don Cook, David Courtney, Steven V. McCloskey, Kenneth Taylor, Jim Wayman, and Charlie Winner. Honorary pallbearer was C. W. “Dub” Varner. 
Riley Funeral Home

Ray was the first host of the Hamilton County, TX GenWeb page.  He indexed all Hamilton County Marriages from the earliest surviving courthouse fires in the 1863, 1877, and 1886 through January, 1950.  After visiting SARA (Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives) in Old Washington, AR in 1992, he suggested to the Hamilton County Genealogy Society that an archives could be established in Hamilton County--and so it was.  Ray donated hundreds of hours to the creation and the development of this project.

Three volumes of his work 

Hamilton County Marriage Records, Vol. I ( Before 1900)

Hamilton County Marriage Records, Vol. II (1900--1924)

Hamilton County Marriage Records, Vol. III (1925-1934) 

may be purchased through Hamilton County Genealogy Society.

Hamilton County, TX Marriage Records through January, 1950, are part of this website.

Pat Dishman, who wrote 10 Who Overcame, published in 1966 by the Broadman Press, Nashville, TN, devoted the second chapter  to Ray--"The Song He Sings."





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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress