Isiah McCray, Retired Pastor of Jordan Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Dies from Coronavirus Along With Three Church Members

Isiah McCray (Photo: Submitted by Patricia McCray)

Isiah McCray, a retired pastor and leader of Jordan Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, died from COVID-19 complications April 7 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

Jordan Missionary Baptist Church now lead by his son Bishop Lenard G. McCray, after McCray’s retirement in 2010, also suffered the additional losses of three other members in April due to COVID-19. Minister of Music Michael O’Bannon, choir member Josephine Sampson, and President of the usher board Ann Singleton also passed away.

“The three went to a funeral service that was elsewhere and a lot of people who attended that service ended up getting sick,” according to Bishop Lenard McCray.

Isiah and Patricia McCray (Photo: Submitted by Patricia McCray)
Three generations of McCrays. Pastor Isiah McCray, Bishop Lenard G. McCray, Rev. Lenard G. McCray, Jr., Nikki McCray, Traci McCray and LaToya McCray. (Photo: Submitted by Lenard McCray)

McCray, who was 78 when he died, was originally from Louisiana. He moved to Detroit in 1969. He worked and then retired from McLouth Steel before they became Great Lakes Steel. He was a minister at St. James Missionary Baptist Church under Rev. Charles Nicks Jr. before becoming Pastor of Jordan Missionary Baptist Church.

“He loved to travel and really loved his church,” said his wife Patricia. The couple was married for 23 years.

When McCray became Jordan Missionary Baptist Church’s second pastor in 1986, he and the members kept the dream and vision of a new building alive and in 1988, ground was broken at the corner of Newport and Freud on Detroit’s east side. In 1989, the Jordan church family physically moved into its current location at 703 Newport. A mortgage burning ceremony to celebrate being debt free was held in 1996.

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SOURCE: Detroit Free Press, Brendel Hightower