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Ray Hutto Sanders

Ray Hutto Sanders


Ray Hutto Sanders…a church pioneer; a man of great wisdom, legendary faith,

extraordinary compassion, the highest of integrity, and exemplary work ethic; a model of

servant leadership; and an evangelist whose life’s direction was determined by his

unwavering passion to win others to the Savior whom he loved and served so faithfully.

Born on October 5, 1936 in Bath, SC to Darlin and Lillian (Hutto) Sanders,the third son

of six children. As a young boy he contracted rheumatic fever and was not expected to

live. After a Sunday prayer visit from members of the Langley Church of God, Ray

heard the voice of God, “I’ve healed you for a testimony,” and after almost ten weeks of

being bedfast, he marched up the steps of the church that evening, completely healed.

Rebelling as a young man, he was dramatically saved when his father drove almost

three hours to enter through the doors of the barbershop where he was working, hands

raised and speaking in tongues, saying: “Ray, it’s going to be alright! I’ve heard from

the Lord and everything is going to be alright!” That night in a rented apartment Ray

knelt by his bed and surrendered his life to the Lord: “If you will save me, I’ll spend the

rest of my life serving you.” …and that he did!

Attending Lee College (Lee University), he opened a barbershop in the basement of

Walker Hall supporting the ministry of the Pioneers for Christ which eventually led to a

full-time ministerial pursuit with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), graduating with a

degree in Biblical Studies in 1964 and ordained as a Bishop in 1968. While at Lee, he

met and married Kathy Huckelbridge, who has companioned by his side for 59 years.

He was commissioned by the denomination to plant churches across the nation,

ultimately organizing congregations and/or physically building the structures of

approximately 90 churches in ten different states from Rhode Island to California and

Minnesota to New Orleans. For twenty-four years, he served as a State Bishop, a

position he held in five states.

Twice appointed as World Missions Department Representative, totaling twenty-five

years, he raised over $11 million dollars, supporting missionaries worldwide. Over the

course of his ministry he has preached over 4500 messages and led over 2500 to

Christ.In recognition of his labors and accomplishments, he was appointed to various

international boards and committees including the Chairman of the Board of Evangelism

and Home Missions, World Missions Board, Peniel Residential Drug and Rehabilitation

Board (Johnstown, PA), Board of Directors East Coast Bible College (Charlotte, NC),

Chairman of the Board of the Northwest Bible College (Minot, ND) and Chairman of the

Board for the Home for Children (Concord, NC), and he was elected by his peers to

serve four, two-year terms on the International Executive Council.

Inducted into Hall of the Prophets at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in 2007, a

fully funded endowment scholarship for ministerial students was established in his


Upon retiring and moving to Deland, Florida in 2013, he served at the City Sanctuary in

various capacities. With a servant’s-heart, he could be found cutting grass, emptying

the trash, or visiting the hospitals. In 2015 he and Kathy served as the Senior Adults

Pastors through 2021, and in 2018 he began teaching and growing the adult Sunday

school class where he taught faithfully each week up until entering into the hospital in


Both friends and family will remember the sound of his bellowing voice as he

passionately prayed for those he loved, calling their names out loud. All were confident

those prayers were heard and answered.

He is survived by his wife Virginia Kathleen (Huckelbridge) Sanders of Deland, Florida

and their three daughters and their families: Delta Schrade (Mark) of Deland, FL, Ginger

Robinson of Cleveland, TN, and Tonya Barbee (Aaron) of Cumming, GA. He also

leaves behind six grandchildren: Gabriel Schrade (Halah), Josiah Schrade, Madray

Robinson, Mallory Robinson, Breckin Barbee, and Brock Barbee. He also leaves

behind two brothers: Terry Sanders and Danny Sanders (Christina) and numerous

nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law Jeremy B. Robinson; and three

siblings: Verlis Sanders, Edwin Sanders, and Faye Humphrey.

A celebration-of-life service will be held at the City Sanctuary (401 E Taylor Rd., Deland,

FL) on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 11 AM. Friends are welcome to greet family

one hour prior and also one hour following the service.

The family will also be receiving guests at a second visitation at the Jim Rush Funeral

Home (2603 N Ocoee Rd., Cleveland, TN) on Monday, November 27, 2023 from 10:30

AM to 12:30 PM. An extended graveside service and interment will follow at Sunset

Memorial Gardens at 1:00 PM in Cleveland, TN. The Deland service can be viewed

online at

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ray H and Kathy Sanders

Scholarship Fund at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (900 Walker St., Cleveland,

TN 37311, Attn: Sue Richie; 800.228.9126 or

Arrangements are provided by Lankford Funeral Home of Deland and Jim Rush Funeral

Homes of Cleveland.

You may share your condolences and your memories with the Sanders family at and

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2 comentarios

Brother Sanders and my family go way back on both sides. My parents went to school at Lee with them. He still called my mother by her nickname “cookie.” The Sanders were also friends of my wife’s family in Minnessota. He was an encouragement to our ministry through the years and always made a point to stop and visit with us. He blessed so Many people and I know you will miss him greatly. Love and prayers to all of you! (Lane & Linda Lavender)

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Ginny Cox
Ginny Cox
22 nov 2023

What a wonderful Tribute to Pastor Ray!! We will always be grateful for his prayers influencing a young boy's heart. He was so sincere in every word he ever said to Gavin and over Gavin. We could feel the sincerity of his heart!! On occasion, Pastor Ray would slip Gavin 5$, smile at him & give him a heartfelt pat on his back!! He will be so very missed in this temporary life. Praise be to Jesus we will see him again in the Everlasting Life!! Ginny & Gavin

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