Reverend Darryl Gray

Executive Director | revdarryl@missourifaithvoices.org

The mantle to lead Missouri Faith Voices was passed to Reverend Gray on February 1, 2022. He has worked for decades in promoting human and civil rights, social justice, and human dignity. He has worked tirelessly in Canada and the United States as an advocate for the reform of refugee & immigration policies, police/community relations, minority business/community/youth development, social change and justice, and interfaith cooperation.

His activism, public service, community and political involvement include the following: former Secretary of the Missouri Democratic Party; Elected to the Kansas State Senate (84-85); Senior staff with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (where he served as Special Assistant to the National President/CEO and National Communications Director); NAACP (Executive Director, Atlanta Branch); National Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH (organizer); 1st Vice 13thDistrict Representative, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated,; Canadian Multicultural Association (Co- Chairperson); HARAMBEE Canada (National Board Member); former Chairperson, Missouri Democratic Party Progressive Caucus; and has worked as senior staff with various national, state-wide, and local political campaigns and issues.

While living in Canada for over 25 years, he was active in various human and civil rights efforts, from addressing issues of economic disparity and youth development to police brutality and racial profiling; to giving sanctuary to African refugees in his church.

Since returning to the Unites States Gray has sought to commit his passion for justice, and expertise in the political arena, towards making a contribution towards changing the social, economic and political landscape of America’s Midwest (the Heart of America) to make it more inclusive and equitable. Gray’s comparison of St. Louis to the “old Selma”, and the Midwest to the “old south” has resonated throughout the social justice and activist community nation-wide. He is committed to changing that dynamic.

In September 2017, Gray once again gained international attention as he became one of the spokespersons for the St. Louis Frontline Protest & Activist Community following weeks of civil disobedience & disturbance resulting from the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley in the death of an unarmed black man (Anthony Lamar Smith). Gray was recruited by former Ferguson protest leaders to serve as Clergy liaison and Senior Advisor.

Rev. Gray currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Greater Fairfax Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis and  serves as Co-Chairperson, National Prison Ministry Commission and Member, National Social Justice Commission, Progressive National Baptist Convention; Chairperson, Social Justice Commission, Mid-West Region Progressive National Baptist Convention; Vice Chairperson, Social Justice Commission, Missionary Baptist State Convention (MO); Political Advisor, St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition; Co-chairperson, Civic Engagement, Baptist Minister’s Union of St. Louis and Vicinity.  He has won numerous awards related to his activism. He is a husband, a father and a grandfather.

Rika Tyler

Lead Organizer |Rika@missourifaithvoices.org

A revolutionary in training, a mother and a student is how Rika describes herself.  Rika Tyler joined us in 2019 with years of experience with grassroots organizing, leading teams and managing programs. She was recently promoted to Lead Organizer. We are excited about the opportunity for growth and development that our organizers will have and how our impact in the communities we serve will be enhanced under her leadership. She has a powerful vision for making change in her community. Rika Tyler is a 2020 graduate of the illustrious Harris-Stowe State University  with a B.S. in Political Science.

Brittany Hughes

Columbia Organizer/Data and Internal Organizing Lead|Brittany@missourifaithvoices.org

Brittany Hughes is the regional organizer in the  Columbia Chapter of Faith Voices. Originally from Aliceville, Alabama, Brittany spent most of her school age years between her beloved hometown and St. Louis Missouri. Her passion for this work is derived from her love of black folks and the desire to see the collective liberation of Black people, Indigenous people and other people of Color, not only in America but globally. When she isn’t working Brittany enjoys a good book, cooking, music, and grabbing drinks with friends.

Justin Burnett

Springfield Organizer | justin@missourifaithvoices.org

Justin is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. While serving Springfield as an elected official, his views were molded by the many heartbreaking stories of injustice in the community. These stories motivated Justin to join the social justice ministry. “It’s more than a job to me; it’s a calling,” he says. Justin’s favorite Scripture is Isaiah 1:17, NIV, which says: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

Gregory Butler

Jefferson City Organizer | Gregory@missourifaithvoices.org

Gregory is the son of a union pipe fitter. He is the father of a beautiful baby girl, a native of Chicago, Illinois but has lived in Jefferson City, MO for over 13 years. He is a proud alumna of Lincoln University. Gregory joins our team with a wealth of experience as a volunteer in the community and currently serves on multiple boards in the community. We are excited about how he will impact faith based and community centered organizing in the Capital City.

Keyana Cooke

St. Louis Organizer | keyana@missourifaithvoices.org

Keyana Cooke is a St. Louis organizer. Originally from Hampton, Virginia. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University in 2020. She is a former educator that also enjoys reading, doing yoga and listening to music. She is passionate about spreading racial equity and education reform.

Dr. Gerald Ray, NMD

Black Health Equity Organizer | drgerald@missourifaithvoices.org

 Dr. Gerald Ray, a native of St. Louis, MO is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor and a Primary Care Physician in the state of Arizona. Dr. Ray returned home to focus on health and wellness in the Black community using equity as a lens. Dr. Ray earned his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. His medical training required the completion of a very comprehensive medical school curriculum which encompassed all fields of conventional medicine while at the same time blended the study of centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in medicine. His clinical training has encompassed addiction medicine and recovery since 2005. 

Prior to medical school he earned his BA in Biology (pre-med) from Saint Louis University and shortly thereafter discovered that Naturopathic care resonated most with his vision of ideal health care. His training included supervised clinical practice in Environmental Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Physical Medicine, Medical Nutrition, Pharmacology, Acupuncture, and Botanical Medicine. Dr. Ray provides patients with personalized Naturopathic recommendations for natural therapies (i.e., vitamins, minerals, herbal medicines, and botanical tinctures) that are safe and appropriate to pair with conventional treatments. While passionate about supporting the body’s own healing potential with safe, nontoxic medicine, he recognizes the importance of an integrated medical approach to best serve the needs of the patient. In his free time he enjoys being with his family.

Board Members

President – Rev. Dr.  Rodney Williams, Pastor Swope Pkwy Disciples of Christ, Kansas City

Vice President-Rabbi Doug Alpert,  Congregation Kol Ami Kansas City

Treasurer- Rev. Darryl Commings, Bethany Christian Church, St. Louis

Secretary-Anne Schneider, Elder First Presbyterian Jefferson City

Rev. WT Edmonson, Asst. Pastor Second Baptist Church, Jefferson City

Rev. Tina Harris, United Methodist, Columbia

Michele Watley, Founder Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet, Kansas City

Rev. Russell Ewell, Terrace Lake United Methodist Church, Kansas City

Pastor Susan Schmalzbauer, Bois D’ Arc United Methodist Church, Springfield

         Imam Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, Islamic Center, Columbia

Rev. Dr. Bob Hill, Retired Disciples of Christ, Kansas City