Gardner-Webb Alum to Share His Story of Redemption

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Musician and Author Jimi Ray (’87) to Speak at Dimensions on Feb. 24

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Musician, author and 1987 alumnus Jimi Ray will visit Gardner-Webb on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to share his spiritual journey during the University’s Dimensions program. The event is free and open to the public.

Ray formed a band, Age of Faith, after graduating from Gardner-Webb. The group signed with two major record labels, created five recordings that were released nationwide and produced a No. 1 song. After more than a decade of success, the band dissolved and Ray plunged into a period of depression and an addiction to prescription pain medication.

Those triumphs and trials are the subject of Ray’s new book, “I Wish It Would Rain,” which he discussed in a biography on his personal website. “I’m looking forward to sharing with people exactly what happened and how my life derailed dramatically,” he offered. “One of the greatest aspects of this book is being able to share with people how God never gave up on me. There were many days when I wondered if He had turned his back, when in reality I was the one turning. God was there all the time. The amazing love, mercy and redemption shown to me was unbelievable. I pray others who now walk in the shoes I walked in will realize the same thing.”

Ray’s Dimensions program will begin at 9:25 a.m. in Paul Porter Arena, located inside the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center (LYCC). “I attended Gardner-Webb University with Jimi Ray and was always impressed by his musical gifts,” shared Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president of the GWU Office of Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University. “Through the ups and downs in his life, Jimi can testify to God’s faithfulness, and that’s a reminder that is good for all of us to hear.”

For more information about Ray, visit

The goal of Dimensions is to enhance the spiritual, intellectual and cultural life of Gardner-Webb University and also to promote a sense of community. More information is available by calling the GWU Office of Christian Life and Service at 704-406-4277.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).