Doctor (Bishop) R. Ray Gatewood was raised in a Christian home in Lonoke, Arkansas. After hearing an anointed message preached by his older brother, he accepted Christ into his life and made a life long commitment to the God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Dr. Gatewood attended George Washington Carver High School and later graduated from Lonoke High School where he was selected as one of Arkansas’ Outstanding Teenagers of America and was voted Best All Around in his senior class. He attended the University of Central Arkansas and later received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the State of New York. He continued his education at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary receiving a Master of Divinity degree where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, and finished his education at Baylor University with the degree of Doctor of Ministry in Theology.
Dr. Gatewood served in the United States Army retiring after twenty-six years of service. He ministered faithfully to God’s people as an Evangelist for 18 years before becoming the Senior Pastor of Bethesda Fellowship Ministries where he has served as Pastor for nineteen years.
Dr. Gatewood established a Gospel service at the historic Chapel of the Centurion in Hampton, Virginia, and established a bible study group at the Military Chapel in Newport News, Virginia. He served as an area Evangelist in the Republic of South Korea and the Adjutant General for the 3rd Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God In Christ in Texas. In 1998, Dr. Gatewood was led by God to start Bethesda Fellowship Ministries in Copperas Cove, Texas. In fulfilling his Vision 2010 project, a 10,000 square feet worship and educational facility in Copperas Cove was built which serves as the headquarters for Bethesda Fellowship Ministries, Bethesda Theological Institute and Seminary, and Concord Fellowship of Churches International.
As Bishop of Concord Fellowship of Churches International, Dr. Gatewood leads the efforts many church and para-church organizations across the country including ministries in Africa and Haiti, with the goal of planning and organizing new church missions, establishing developmental training models for pastors and ministry leaders, and leading the cooperative efforts of the organizations toward ministry excellence.
Along with serving as Dean and Center Director of Bethesda Theological Institute and Seminary, Dr. Gatewood also serves as Professor of Theology, Biblical Languages, and Biblical Studies.
In his community, Dr. Gatewood served as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner and a City Council Member for the city of Copperas Cove, Texas, serving one term as the city’s Mayor Pro Tem. He has served as the President of the Copperas Cove Ministerial Alliance and is a member of the Citizens Police Academy. He is a former Board Member of the Copperas Cove Independent School District Foundation and served three terms as the Ninth District Chaplain of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., in a District that encompasses the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He is married to Kim Gatewood and has four daughters.