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Ray, Billy

Was the counterpart of Jimmy Kittleman, and his associate and brother in the first Methodist Church organized in Indianapolis.  He was equally zealous in the good work, and never let anything keep him from the “Divine sanctuary.”  He too, like Brother Kittleman, had been very much tempted by the “old cloven-foot serpent,” [sic] and several times came very near yielding.  Brother Bay was a man about five feet ten inches in height, rather spare made, a bald head, and about fifty years of age.  He wore the old-style Methodist dress, round breasted or shad-belly coat.  He was full of sighs on all occasions, and in church would add an amen to everything said, frequently out of place.


            His main forte was in prayer.  He had two stereotyped upon his mind, and ever ready for use on any and all occasions; his morning prayer and his evening prayer.  He sometimes (as Tom Harvey would say) “got the right prayer in the wrong place,” i. e., he would use the morning prayer in the evening, and vice versa.  I well remember his evening prayer, having heard it nearly every Thursday night for ten years.  It ran thus:


            “We desire to thank thee, O Lord, that we are once more permitted to assemble together under the roof of they divine sanctuary, and that while many of our feller-critters, that are as good by nater and far better by practice, have sickened and died during the week that has passed and gone, and left these mundane shores, and gone to tht house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, we are still permitted to remain here as the spared monuments of they amazing grace.  And now, O Lord, in the close of our evening devotions draw feelingly and sensibly nigh unto us.  Manifest thyself unto us as thou dost not unto the world, and great that we may live as we shall wish so had when we come to die.  And, finally, when we re called upon to put off this mortal and put on immortality, bring us to enjoy thyself and service; and all the glory we will ascribe to a triune God, world without end.  Amen.”


            Brother Bay, too, sought a home on the distant prairies, and from his advanced age when he left has, no doubt, ere this, “put off this moral and put on immortality,” and has met his old classmate, Brother Kittleman, on the other side of the river, “where congregations ne’er break up, and Sabbaths never end.”

Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 87-88.