(Memphis) New Salem Missionary Baptist Church — where worshippers gather. It’s also where Pastor Frank E. Ray has been forced to live, at least according to the divorce papers he filed last month.
The prominent Memphis Pastor is seeking a divorce from his wife of 8 years, Deborah Joy Ray.
In the filing he says Deborah refuses to leave their home in Eads, leaving him to live at his place of employment, the church.
The divorce papers also shed light on something that happened at the church back in December, a fight reportedly centering around the first lady, Deborah Ray.
Pastor Ray says on December 4, 2011, Deborah Ray brought several family members to New Salem and began fighting in the church. Police were called. Frank Ray says it became sensationalized in the media. We talked to members shortly after the fight last year.
“I trust in God and I trust his shepherd Rev. Ray is a good shepherd,” one member told us.
Frank and Deborah Ray got national attention with their elaborate wedding in 2004, featuring a wedding party dressed in black leather. It came on the heels of Frank Ray’s divorce from another wife.
Pastor Ray says Deborah threatened to destroy the church after she was removed as leader of two ministries.
We went to their Eads home to see if Deborah Ray was available. No one answered the door. As for Pastor Ray, he didn’t return our calls.
In the divorce papers, Frank Ray is seeking an injunction to keep Deborah Ray away from the church, and to give him exclusive use of their Eads home.
He is asking for rehabilitative, transitional and permanent alimony, a lien imposed on property to ensure Deborah pays alimony, and he wants the court to make her get life insurance to continue paying in the event of her death.