RALPH D. GRAVES SR. SUNRISE NOVEMBER 1, 1936—SUNSET NOVEMBER 3, 2020
Rev. Ralph D. Graves Sr. was born November 1, 1936 and received his heavenly reward November 3, 2020. Rev. Ralph Graves Sr. was born in Camden, NJ and he was the fourth of five children born to Samuel Graves and Cora Wright-Graves and resided in Magnolia, NJ.
He joined Mt Olive Baptist Church under Rev. J.H. Hampton. Rev. Ralph Graves Sr. grew up in the Magnolia School System, and attended Haddon Heights High School in New Jersey. After graduating high school, he joined the United States Army, and after honorable discharge from the Army, he went to work for the Social Security Administration in Philadelphia, PA. He furthered his education by becoming a graduate of Philadelphia College of Bible. He then attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and Christian Research Development Center where he took courses in Christian counseling. He graduated from Antioch University receiving his Bachelors of Arts degree in Human Services with a concentration in counseling. Forever the student, he continued learning at other institutions along the way including Temple University.
On September 3, 1966, Ralph Sr. married Saundra E. Wallace. From this union was born two sons, Ralph Jr. and Todd. They resided in Deptford Township, New Jersey for 52 years. In 2018, Ralph Sr. became a resident of Glassboro, NJ. Ralph Sr. was called to become the pastor of Mt Olive Baptist Church in Magnolia, NJ, on June 4, 1974.
Rev. Graves mentored many and introduced other sons and daughters to Christ. Under Rev. Graves Sr.'s pastorate, his sons in the ministry were Ralph Graves Jr, Andre Brown Sr, Darrell K. Still, and Lester Duffy. Rev. Graves was active in the Bethany Baptist Association, Minister's Conference of Woodbury and Vicinity, New Light Union & the General Baptist State Convention of New Jersey Incorporated. He was very compassionate about missions and served with honor on the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention USA Incorporated for approximately 10 years. He taught in the Camden County Church School and BTU Congress where his classes were often filled to capacity. He proudly pastored for 41 years. Sharing some of the Rev. Ralph Graves Sr. mottos: "A Going Church Preaching a Coming Christ, The Whole Gospel as it is For Men as They Are" "Enter to Worship; Depart to Serve" "There are no strangers here only Friends You Haven't Met" "Not equal giving but equal sacrifice"
Rev. Ralph Graves Sr. retired from pastoring Mt. Olive Baptist Church in October 2015. He did not waste any time before joining Cornerstone Community Church, under the pastorate of his son, Rev. Ralph D. Graves Jr.
Ralph D Graves Sr. leaves to cherish his precious memories: his loving and devoted wife of 54 years Saundra; his sons, Ralph Jr. (Tina), Todd (Michele), a dear man like a son, Eric Brown; his grandchildren, Jazmin, Jenae and Ryan; his great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Naomi; his brother, Robert Sr. (Viola) and sister, Vivian Hall, and a host of nephews, nieces, family members and friends.
Family and friends will be received on Tuesday evening, November 10, 2020 from 6pm to 8pm at the Cornerstone Community Church, 911 Church Street, Millville, NJ. Burial will be private at the Gloucester County Veterans Cemetery, Williamstown, NJ. Arrangements are by DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home 2755 S. Lincoln Ave., Vineland. Memories, thoughts and prayers may be extended to the family by visiting dlfuneral.com.