Dr. Brandon W. McCray, 52, passed away on April 19, 2020, at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. He was born on December 10, 1967, in Kansas City, Kansas to Emerson McCray and Velma Burns. Ted S. Jones embraced Brandon as his son when he and Velma began their courtship when he was baby.
Brandon grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. He graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kansas in 1986. After high school he: attended Kansas City, Kansas Community College in his hometown on a Track Scholarship where he competed as a sprinter and became a member of the highly acclaimed Jazz Band; Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education; Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas where he earned a Master of Arts in Music Education; and the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas where he earned a Doctor of Music Arts in Saxophone Performance.
He began working at Jardine Middle School in Wichita, Kansas where he served as the Instrumental Music Teacher for many years until he relocated to Kansas City, Kansas where he served for one year at West Middle School in the same capacity. In order to have flexibility in his schedule to continue ministry as a Gospel Saxophonist and to evangelize, Brandon served as a substitute teacher in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools for nearly a decade.
In February of 1973, Brandon dedicated his life to the Lord by accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior at the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ where Bishop Daniel M. Jordan served as the Pastor. While in graduate school, Brandon united in fellowship with the St. Mark Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Bishop J. C. Gilkey Sr. In 1997, Brandon was ordained as a licensed Elder in the Church of God in Christ. After evangelizing around the world, Elder McCray founded Redemption and Restoration Church Fellowship in June of 2019 where he served as Senior Pastor until his untimely death.
Dr. McCray married Marcie Johnson in January of 2000 and two years later they welcomed the birth of their son, Joseph P. McCray. They were married for four years until the marriage ended in divorce in 2004. Dr. McCray was a musician extraordinaire and his passion was exhibited through his devotion to teaching others how to play a variety of instruments. In 1996, Dr. McCray recorded his debut Gospel album, “I Still Have Joy” and would go on to record at least four more projects as the featured artist. In February of 2017, Dr. McCray was recognized by the Friends of Yates as a “Black Man of Distinction” for his Outstanding Commitment and Service to the Kansas City Community. Throughout his adult life, Dr. McCray committed to becoming biblical scholar and a theologian. His compassion for others and his desire to lift the spirits of grieving families was evident through his soul-stirring performances at countless funerals and memorial services.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.
Dr. McCray is survived by his son, Joseph P. McCray of Kansas City, Kansas; his brothers, Terry (Shanti) McCray of Raytown, Missouri; Ted L. (LaTosha) Jones of Grandview, Missouri and Dr. Jarius O. (Kim) Jones of Kansas City, Kansas; his sisters, Karene D. (Ron) Salaam of Oakland, California and Jennifer J. Jones of Independence, Missouri; his godparents, Phyllis and Dwight Henderson of Yorktown, Virginia; his best friend Daryl (Patrice) Horton of Rancho Cucamonga, California; bonus parents, Claudine and Wilburt Horton of Kansas City, Kansas; and his many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
A virtual memorial service will air online at 10:00 A.M., May 2, 2020, and it can be accessed via: www.mstcsunset.com.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to scholarship fund to be named later in honor of Dr. Brandon McCray. Condolences may be left on Thatcher’s Funeral Home’s online guest book at https://www.thatcherfuneralhome.com/. At a later date, there will be a celebration of life service scheduled once the Stay-at-Home order has been lifted.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Brandon Wyn McCray, please visit our floral store.