Lauderdale County Baptist Association honors retiree, Mrs. Datha Ray

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:34 PM CST
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MARION, Miss. (WTOK) - There was a cause for celebration at the Lauderdale County Baptist Association on Monday.

The association held a retirement reception for Mrs. Datha Ray, the Director of the LBA Crisis Center.

Family members, community members, and co-workers gathered to honor and celebrate Mrs. Ray for her 38 years of service.

Luberth Ruffin, a Meridian resident, shares with News 11 that Mrs. Ray has always been a great source of strength and encouragement for her.

“When I first came here, I couldn’t walk and I said I couldn’t walk. It was painful for me to walk and when I met this lady here, she encouraged me to do things for myself. And now you can see I’m walking, but she encouraged me. With that spirit she has and she knew how to treat people. She didn’t care where you were and where you were going,” said Luberth Ruffin, a Meridian resident.

Jamie Smith, the former ministry assistant at the center, reflects on the positive impact Mrs. Ray has made on the community.

“Well, I think the one thing that nobody will forget about her is how she could talk to anybody, and she could. She could just understand what people were going through. She understood their needs and she could sit down and calm people and give them good advice. And that was her gift. That was her gift from God,” said Smith.

At the association, Mrs. Datha Ray helped families get the food they needed by donating food, preparing food bags, and encouraging those in need.

She was presented with a plaque of service at the reception.

The center said Mrs. Ray will truly be missed by everyone.