Cranston, RI – Rev. Dr. Janet M. MacGray, 89, an American Baptist Minister, died September 19, 2020, at the Scandinavian Home Communities in Cranston. Born in Newton, Mass., she was a daughter of the late Charles L. MacGray, MD, and E. Constance (Kitchener) MacGray.
After graduating from Needham High School, class of 1948, she attended Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, graduating in 1952 receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She continued her academic studies and in 1954 she graduated from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, Mass., receiving a master’s degree in Religious Education. A lifelong believer in Jesus Christ, Janet was raised and baptized at the First Baptist Church of Needham where, over the years, she sang in all three of the church’s choirs: children’s, youth and adult.
Her ministry began while serving as Director of Christian Education for two churches, Melrose First Baptist Church, Melrose, Mass., and then at the First Baptist Church, Holden, Mass. From 1959-1973 she taught third grade at the Pigeon Cove Elementary School, Rockport, Mass. After resuming her education at Andover-Newton in 1973, she graduated in 1976, and received a Master of Divinity degree.
Ordained by the American Baptist Churches of New Hampshire in 1973, she served as pastor of the First Free Will Baptist Church in Sutton, N.H., where, while still a student at Andover Newton, she commuted twice a week. In 1983 she was called as pastor of the Chester Congregational & Baptist Church in Chester, N.H., the church she served until her retirement in 1993.
Shortly after retiring, she moved to Cranston and joined Phillips Memorial Baptist Church. Throughout her life, the family cottage in Kittery, Maine, was a favorite spot for Janet to relax and enjoy the company of her family and friends.
She was the beloved sister of Elaine M. Starrett of Rockport and of the late Enid M. MacGray, RN, Charles K. MacGray, Constance E. Powell and Lorna E. Tuthill. She also leaves behind 13 nieces and nephews.
A memorial service at Phillips Memorial Baptist Church, Cranston will be held at a later date. Burial in the family lot at Needham Cemetery, Needham, Mass., will be private. Donations in her memory may be made to: Chester Congregational Baptist Church, P.O. Box 306, Chester, NH 03036 or to Phillips Memorial Baptist Church, 565 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910. Condolences may be offered to her family and memories of Janet shared online at

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