EADS, TN (abc24.com) - A Memphis pastor is accused of trying to run over his wife. Deborah Ray claims her husband, Reverend Frank Ray, tried to mow her down in his $150,000 Bentley two weeks ago.
As pastor of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Frank E. Ray commands the attention of his congregation. But on May 25, Rev. Ray commanded the attention of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
Deborah Ray, the reverends wife of eight years, told sheriff's deputies her estranged husband showed up at their Eads, Tennessee home two weeks ago and accused her of driving his Bentley while he was out of town.
The two argued and in the midst of the argument Mrs. Ray said the man of the cloth put the pedal to the metal and tried to run her down.
Byron Shields attended Rev. Ray's services at New Salem. "Not Frank E. Ray, he's a good person," he said, "he be talking the truth, he be real."
Shields says what's not real are the allegation Ray's wife is making against him. He thinks she's just mad, and made the accusations "because he's in the eye of the public. She's trying to hurt him like that."
But Danielle Leseuer does believe what Ray's wife is contending. "I've heard negative things about him… that doesn't sit well with me."
She says the Rev. Ray isn't setting a good example. Jesse Johnson agrees.
"You're supposed to be giving the word out and you over here trying to run over your wife, you contradicting yourself," Johnson said.
While Mrs. Ray wouldn't talk on camera, she did tell abc24.com by telephone that she's not at liberty to talk about the case.