Pastor Ray

Ray was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico; his parents lived in Belen, and moved to Baldwin Park, California when he was a year old. Ray was heavily influenced by his father who introduced him to drugs when he was in 7th grade. In his freshman year at Bishop Amat Catholic High School in La Puente he began abusing cocaine and alcohol. Every weekend Ray would find a place to party and get wasted, which led to his expulsion from Bishop Amat. After lying about his age, he was hired as a superintendent for a construction company. As his drug problems got worse, Ray recalled “My mom was a Christian and was always preaching to me. At times I was so high I thought Iwas going to die. I made promises to God  that if He would just help me through. I would give my life to Him.” God brought him through, but Ray never kept his end of the bargain. One day while Ray was about to get high, he remembers hearing a voice. “Go to church.” He thought he was going crazy and ignored it and then he started to get out of his truck when he heard it again. This time Ray started the car, punched the gas and went to Calvary Chapel West Covina. God spoke to him through Pastor Raul Ries and Ray gave his life to the Lord. Months after coming to Christ, Ray felt that God was calling him into the ministry, and he went to Bible College at C. C. Golden Springs. He married his wife, Margarite, and in 1992, after their first daughter Alexzandra was born, they moved to Belen, New Mexico where they started Calvary Chapel Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV). In October of 1992 Pastor Ray and Margarite started a weekly home Bible study in the basement of their home. Once the home study was established, they began meeting on Sundays for services in their basement. The church was incorporated on July 18, 1994 and by December 1994 the church of 30 people had outgrown the basement and they rented their first building on Becker Street in downtown Belen. By April 1997 the church of 120 members had outgrown the Becker Street location and moved to a new location in Rio Communities. By the end of 1999 the Rio Communities facility also became too small to comfortably accommodate the weekly worshipers. After several years and attempts to rent the only suitable available space in Belen, the vacated Wal-Mart store, Wal-Mart agreed to lease the building through their remaining lease period. By this time Pastor Ray had been blessed with three more children: Annalise, Raymond and Henry. CCRGV held their first service in their new facility April 2001, Easter Sunday. In August of 2004 CCRGV completed the new 1200 seating sanctuary and in 2014 CCRGV purchased its building and is the home of Canon Christian Academy a K5-12 school, Grounded Café and Bookstore. Pastor Ray has been blessed to serve his community for the last 27 years as he continues to teach the Word of God and reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ