Raymond Vickrey, longtime Texas Baptist pastor, died Sept. 17 of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 86. He was born in Temple to Irian and Bernice Vickrey and grew up in Galena Park. At Baylor University, he was a two-time Southwest Conference long jump champion and a member of the 440-yard relay team that broke the existing world record in 1956. His achievements in track and field earned him induction into the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. After completing his undergraduate degree at Baylor, he earned a Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and later a doctorate from the Graduate Foundation of Notre Dame. He felt a call to pastoral ministry early in life and was ordained at Memorial Baptist Church in Temple at age 20. After serving as the pastor of Memorial’s mission congregation as a freshman at Baylor and later as a part-time pastor in Honey Grove during seminary, he would not serve another church as pastor until a few decades later. He worked in student ministry at Baylor University and was executive director of the Baylor Alumni Association in the mid-1960s. After several years as minister of single adults at First Baptist Church in Richardson, Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas called him as senior pastor. The call came after a divorce from his first wife put his candidacy as pastor of any Baptist church in doubt—an experience that reinforced his empathy for the marginalized in church and society, his family observed. He served Royal Lane from 1981 until his retirement in 2008—more than half of the 50 years he spent in ministry. He used his time at Royal Lane to bring others who felt marginalized by the church into leadership roles and to build interfaith friendships to support religious liberty for all. He is survived by his wife Sharon Vickrey; brother Robert Vickrey; children Larry Vickrey, Blake Vickrey, Raelynn (Dan) Olson and husband Dan, and Garrett Vickrey and wife Cameron; and four grandchildren. A virtual memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Nov. 1 and can be viewed on the Royal Lane Baptist Church YouTube channel.
Obituary: Raymond Vickrey
September 28, 2020