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Byrdstown Designates Day After Pastor Ivan Raley

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Byrdstown Designates Day After Pastor Ivan Raley

The Byrdstown Board of Aldermen has designated May 21st as Ivan Raley Day.

Raley served as the First Baptist Church pastor in Byrdstown for 18 years. Mayor Sam Gibson said the town will celebrate Raley’s life through a gospel singing at the downtown pavilion.

“He was well-known with the people and well liked by the people,” Gibson said. “He’s been missed over the years. He was a character here, and this would be the most appropriate. He would be tickled to death knowing something like that was going to be done.”

Gibson said Raley’s wife approached the town about the event. Gibson said a Nashville-based gospel group will lead the event with local churches also participating.

“His wife and some other individuals from Nashville will like to come up and bring a group of performers, gospel singing performers, and do a day dedicated to him,” Gibson said.”

Before Byrdstown, Raley preached across the nation and conducted mission work in several other countries. In 1994, Raley started working with the Tennessee Baptists Childrens’ Home in Brentwood as Vice President of the region where he served abused and abandoned children.

Over his career, Raley served as Chaplain of the Day for the General Assembly, opened the US House of Representatives on two occasions and spoke at the National Day of Prayer held by the US Congress.

He died at 82-years-old in 2020.


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