Dr. L. Lavon Gray was born on March 28, 1967 in Mendenhall, Mississippi. He is married to the former Wendy Willoughby of Picayune, Mississippi and is the father of two daughters, Kayla and Lizzie.
Dr. Gray holds the Ph.D. degree in the Church of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. This degree is in the field of Music Ministry with a minor in church administration. While in the doctoral program at Southwestern, he served as assistant to the Dean, as well as taught numerous classes in the Music Ministry department. Prior to that he received his Master of Church Music degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a major in Church Music Education and a specialization in Conducting. He also holds the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi with a major in Political Science and a minor in History.
Since the age of fifteen, Dr. Gray has served as Minister of Music in various churches across Mississippi, Texas and South Carolina. He joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, as Minister of Music & Worship in June of 2005. He also has served widely as worship leader for revivals, crusades and conferences both in the United States and abroad. In addition, he serves as a Lifeway Ministry Multiplier in the area of Worship Leadership and speaks across the country in training conferences sponsored by Lifeway Christian Resources. He has written articles for the Church Musician and the Southern Baptist Church Music Journal and has contributed performance suggestions for musical publications in the Hal Leonard catalog. Dr. Gray also has written program notes and historical backgrounds for major choral and orchestral concerts in Mississippi and Texas, including performances of Handel's Messiah and Mendelssohn's Lebegesang by the Forth Worth Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. His most recent project, sponsored by the Mississippi Baptist Convention, is being written in observance of the 60th anniversary of the Mississippi Church Music Department. This book, Sharing the Song of Jesus, will chronicle the people and events that have influenced Mississippi Baptist church music and was released in 2005.