This summer, a Huntsville native experienced an honor given to very few pastors, when he served as guest chaplain for the U.S. Senate. Rev. Ron McCrary grew up attending Big Indian Creek Primitive Baptist Church, graduated from Johnson High School and attended UA-Huntsville from 1985-89, where he made a name for himself on the basketball court. All along the way, it was evident to family and friends that he was being called to be a pastor. He remembers his time as a UAH Charger, saying, “I was kind of the team chaplain. Everybody looked for me to pray.”
After leaving UAH, McCrary went overseas to be part of Athletes in Action, a Campus Crusades for Christ program. Once he returned to the states, he took a job in Maryland, working for the Food and Drug Administration. Eventually, that job landed him in Atlanta. Through it all, he continued to study, pray and prepare for the ministry. In 1994 Ron graduated from Morehouse ITC School of Religion and Emory University, Candler School of Theology in Biblical Studies in 2002. His chance came in 1996, when after finishing a year-long program in church planting, he was asked to begin a church in Mableton, Georgia. The following Easter, he stood in the pulpit at New Life Missionary Baptist Church, which he still leads today. In addition, he also works as Deputy Director of Chaplain Services for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office in Marietta, Georgia.
This past January, McCrary accepted a new role, after receiving a call from the office of Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Senator Isakson was inviting him to be a guest chaplain of the day. McCrary recalls, “when I saw the official letterhead from the Chief of Staff, then I knew, okay this serious… but then to walk into the Senate Chamber, that’s when it really, really hit me.” The pastor was asked to submit a prayer that would take no longer than one minute, 30 seconds to deliver.
On Thursday, June 21st, McCrary read his prayer to open the day’s session. For him, the experience only underscored a long held belief, one that he’s eager to share, especially with young people. He says, “anybody that’s serious about God, he can take you places that will just blow your mind.” Even the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Floor Statement on Rev. Ron McCrary
Mr. President, it is my honor to introduce to the Senate Rev. Ron McCrary, who just gave the prayer on the floor of the Senate. He is here with Chaplain Black. Reverend McCrary is a great individual from my home county, Cobb County, GA. He is the chaplain to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, the fourth largest county in Georgia. He is chaplain of the Police Officers Standards and Training facility in Georgia, which covers 40,000 law enforcement officers. He is a great preacher, a great leader, and a great chaplain. He was recommended to me by Sheriff Neil Warren, the sheriff of Cobb County, who because of his graciousness allowed Ron to come and be with us today. Ron is a father, a minister, and a great witness. He witnessed as an athlete through the Campus Crusade for Christ and Athletes in Action. He witnessed as a pastor by ministering churches. He witnessed to the community by delivering great sermons–one of them about voting, in honor of Coretta Scott King, delivered in 2006 at the Turner Chapel in Marietta, where he empowered everyone to honor Coretta Scott King’s life’s work by making sure they participated in the political system.
It is an honor and a privilege for me to welcome and host Rev. Ron McCrary of Cobb County, GA, and the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department.
Ron McCrary offers a daily Bible reading through his facebook page.