Life began for Arlan Ray Hendrix on June 5, 1937 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Three years later, the oldest child of Spurgeon and Fae Hendrix would journey with his parents to Argentina where he was introduced to a world that would serve as his harvest field for the remainder of his life. Growing up in Buenos Aires, Ray developed a love for international cultures that would guide him in the years ahead. At 17, Ray returned to the United States where he pursued a college education first, at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho, then at Bethany Nazarene College in Bethany, Oklahoma. Shortly after arriving in Bethany, Ray met Claire Phillips whose father pastored the First Church of the Nazarene in Bethany. In April 1961, Ray and Claire were married at First Church, beginning a journey together that would last for over 51 years.
For the next four years, Ray and Claire stayed in Bethany, Oklahoma where Ray worked as an aircraft draftsman. During this time, they welcomed their two oldest sons, Steve and Mike. In February 1965, the Hendrix family relocated to Kansas City, Missouri when Ray was invited to join the newly launched Spanish Department at the Nazarene headquarters in Kansas City. Within the next five years, two more children joined the Hendrix crew; a daughter, Christy, and a son, Scott. Soon, Ray and his family were setting down roots in the Kansas City area that remain planted to this day. The family moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Overland Park, Kansas and, finally, to Stilwell, Kansas, which, at the time, was little more than a few houses across the street from a cow pasture. Over the span of 40 years, Ray continued to work the international harvest fields, serving in a variety of capacities at the Nazarene headquarters. He left an indelible mark on the world through his efforts using mass media and the printed page to communicate to the world the love and grace of God. In February 2005, Ray retired from his final post as director of Publications International and World Mission Radio.
In June 2011, Ray was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor that promised to take his life within a few months. With the help of the ministry of capable doctors and the healing hand of God, Ray waged war on the cancer for more than a year. Following a brief remission, the cancer returned in July 2012. Attempts to defeat the disease were unsuccessful. And on November 6, 2012, Ray’s valiant struggle came to an end as he went home to be with his Lord.
Upon his arrival on the heavenly shore, Ray was reunited with his father and other loved ones, including a granddaughter, Marissa, who left us too soon. In addition to his wife and children, those who remain, eagerly awaiting a reunion with Ray, include his mother, Fae, his sister, Norma, and brother, Leon; daughters-in-law, Sherri, Michelle and Kim and son-in-law, Jim; and 10 grandchildren, Christian, Andy, Arli, Tyler, Cassie, Josh, Jordan, Austin, Jamison and Jacob. While we grieve his passing and will miss him dearly, we rejoice that he is now in the presence of the One he had served so faithfully. His work is done but his legacy remains.