Published on January 23, 2023 by Dakota Rice  
Gerald Bray

Gerald Bray celebrated 30 years at Beeson Divinity School in February.

He remembers starting six weeks before the blizzard that would become known to Alabamians as the “Storm of the Century.” Since 1993, Bray has impacted hundreds of students, leading and walking with them through their journeys at Beeson.

“We have produced some outstanding people in many different fields,” shared Bray. “Some have become academics. Some have become missionaries in other countries doing wonderful work. And some have gone on to do other great things.”

Bray came to Beeson as its first Anglican Chair of Divinity and retired in 2006. Since then, he has continued to serve in a part-time role, teaching courses in church history and theology and mentoring students. Bray is an accomplished author who has published more than 40 books and numerous scholarly articles. He speaks nine languages and is a minister in the Church of England.

Above all those accomplishments, his heart lies with the students training to serve the Lord in whatever vocation or circumstances they land. Thus, to support future generations of Beeson students, Bray has included Beeson in his estate planning.

Douglas A. Sweeney, dean of Beeson Divinity School, gave thanks for Bray’s love for students.

“Dr. Bray is one of the most beloved professors in the history of Beeson Divinity School—and the reason for this is clear: his own love and care for students, staff members and other friends of the school are profound,” Sweeney said. “This major bequest will go a long way toward extending that love to the students of the future, helping them meet their expenses while they do life with us and prepare to serve the church of Jesus Christ.”

Bray thought carefully about what kind of message he wanted to send to others who are considering how to steward their resources.

“What I want people to see more than anything is that what’s been given to me is a gift,” he said. “I feel that it’s a responsibility to try as far as I can to see that what I have been given will be used for the glory of God.”

To leave your legacy with an estate gift, contact Gene Howard at or 205-726-2366.    

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.