Minister A. "Ray" Owens is the Director of Youth and Family The Church of Oakland. Known within the church and community as Minister Ray, she is committed to scholarship, service and sowing into the lives of the youth, while supporting families in tandem as they collectively grow deeper in Christ.
Minister Ray is a successful product of a strong single-parent home raised in the urban epicenter of New Jersey. With a childhood and environment that didn’t compliment graduating high school, let alone pursuing higher education, Minister Ray attended the historic Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Upon completing her matriculation at Clark Atlanta University, she returned to New Jersey where she worked in education for several years. Minister Ray is passionate about literacy, and this passion would drive her to ghostwrite books for published authors. Eventually, she would write and become a published author of her own two books and a screenplay. After several years of writing and working, she returned to New Jersey and attended graduate school at Seton Hall University earning her Master’s degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership. A new job opportunity led Minister Ray to relocate to south where she remained working as a contractor for the Department of Defense. Always striving to attain higher heights, she didn’t stop there. A new door would open where she would progress professionally in Atlanta, GA, where she worked for a corporate contractor in nuclear engineering with the Department of Energy. Feeling the continuous spiritual calling, God afforded her the opportunity to attend Emory University’s Candler School of Theology where she earned her Master of Divinity (MDiv). While attending Candler, she was licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and continues to do so until ordination.
Minister Ray is the mother of one beautiful daughter and works tirelessly to be the light essential for guiding her through life. A visionary leader, loving mother, published author, she is an unapologetic woman of God who voluntarily serves her community, lovingly serves the church and continues to serve others, while remaining a vessel readily available to be used by God.