After humble beginnings in London, a central Ohio pastor celebrates 66 years of preaching his beliefs to the faithful.
Since the 1950s Rev. Raymond McDaniel Jr. has followed in his father’s footsteps and worked as a pastor with the evangelical protestant Church of Christ in Christian Union (CCCU).
For the last 50 years, he’s served with the East Columbus Church of Christ in Christian Union in Reynoldsburg. His congregation celebrated his five decades of service on Saturday and Sunday with a special mass.
“What he preaches, he stands for, and he lives it out in his own life every single day. ‘What you see is what you get,’ is how most people describe my father,” said Cheryl Isaacs, his daughter. “Most would describe him as a humble man who loves people and has never changed.”
Rev. McDaniel was born on June 7, 1942 in Jeffersonville. Along with four siblings, he was raised by his father Rev. Raymond and mother LuEmma McDaniel in London, where his father ran a church named “God’s Little Mission.”
He was involved with his father’s London-based church at a very young age, giving his first sermon at age eight.
“We had a woman attend the celebration who was nine years old at the time and attended his first sermon of all things,” said Isaacs. “Apparently it was 45 minutes long, think of that, eight and a half and 45 minutes of preaching.”
In 1967, he was ordained and called to pastor the Reynoldsburg CCCU.
Isaacs recalled that, at the time, it was located at the end of a dead end street with no running water and outside toilets.
“He believed every person trained as a pastor should have his own congregation at least once,” she said. “He planned on serving for one year. Fifty years later, well here we are today!”
Dedicated to his congregants, he moved his wife Shirley and two children from London to Reynoldsburg, with a third child born a year later in their new hometown.
From there, the congregation went into a local school building in 1973 while waiting for the current church to be constructed. It was finished in 1976 and has since expanded, requiring an edition in 2009.
Rev. McDaniel lives in his Reynoldsburg home with his wife Shirley, whom he has been married to since 1961. They are proud of their four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Isaacs said her father is taking on less duties these days but keeps on helping out as much as he can. He still attends every service.
“It’s his calling,” she said. “He loves God and he loves people and does it all for them.”
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.