The youngest of three siblings, Ray Vester was born and raised in Rocky Mount, NC. At an early age, he became a Christian and soon after southern gospel music became his passion.
At the tender age of 19 Ray recorded his first record in 1979. The first song he ever wrote was on this record. “Come Soon Jesus“ was the song and was recorded by several other groups over the years. Shortly after recording his first record Ray formed his first trio called “The Faith in Action Singers". The group enjoyed some success for several years but the group was retired in 1982.
During the summer of 1982 Ray played the piano for "The Kings Messengers" from Pikeville, NC. With a longing in his soul to sing Ray formed the trio named “The Gospel Laymen ". The trio became very popular and performed in many churches and auditoriums. The Gospel Laymen recorded two albums during the 3 years it was together.
In 1985 Ray joined "The Monarchs"; he wrote and recorded "This Man from Galilee" on the "Naturally" album. This song received a lot of radio play and was very popular with audiences on the East Coast.
After all the years of being silent in southern gospel music God made a way for Ray to sing again! January 2003 was a sad time in his life but yet a new beginning. Ray was comforted and inspired by God through music in the days following his mother's death. He sat down at his keyboard with a sense of urgency and God began to pour new songs into his spirit. Ray returned to the recording studio March 28, 2003 to record the new CD entitled "Back Again". His mother Arlene Vester wrote two special songs "Rejoice in God’s Love" and "Jesus Is My Everything" on the CD.
In 2004 Ray release a new project entitled “From the Heart” which included “Time Traveler” written by his brother Richard Vester and “My Prayer” written by Ray’s mother Arlene Vester.
In 2005 Ray released two new projects. “Here and Now”, Ray’s third vocal CD includes “All your Love” written by Ray’s brother Richard Vester. Ray also released his first instrumental CD entitled “Keyboard Favorites”.
2005 Was a very exciting year for Ray Vester ministries! Ray is preaching again after many years and will be touring the US and Canada in 2006 sharing his ministry.
2006 Brought a renewed excitement for Ray Vester Ministries! Ray has released 2 new projects “I’m Still Standing” and “Ray Vester 80’s Collection” which is a HIV/AIDS project.
2007 New project "Freedom" was released. In August Ray underwent major surgery and due to complications ended up with Gangrene and almost died. In October Ray underwent emergency surgery to remove the Gangrene tissue. God brought him “Through the fire”! During this time Ray was off the road from doing Ministry.
2008 Was full of wonderful moments but yet Ray faced more surgeries. In March Ray had another major surgery and once again had more complications. Because of the complications Ray was in severe pain and unable to work. So in November Ray underwent another surgery to remove a nerve that was entrapped during the surgery in March. Ray continued to be off the road from doing Ministry as well as being out of work a total of 6 months.
However during Ray’s time of sickness he was approached by Randy Stalls from “Vision Quest Music Group” with an offer of a Recording Contract. Even though Ray was going through so much God gave him the strength and courage to sign the Recording Contact and history was made for Ray Vester Ministries. The Label released the new CD “Sail Away” in July. In October the single entitled “It’s All Good” was released to Southern Gospel Radio Stations Nationwide and debuted at #28 on the Christian Country Gospel National Chart! By December the single hit #1 on the Christian Country Gospel National Chart. The single also debuted at #60 on the Southern Gospel Top 100 Hits and has stayed at that spot for 4 months as of January, 2009.
2009 The single “It’s All Good” continues to be on the National Charts! Ray is well and heading back “on the road again” for the “Sail Away” Tour. . After going through so many trials God truly has begun a new work in Ray Vesters’ life and Ministry! The response to Ray’s return has been amazing so look for him in your area in 2009.
Ray Vester signs an exclusive contract with Hope Unlimited Productions Talent & Booking Agency
January 2010 "Work in the Field" CD released.
Ray Vester: Keyboards
Latest radio single: "Not So Much"
2010 "Work in the Field"
2008 "Sail Away"
2006 "I'm Still Standing"
2005 "Here And Now"
2005 "Keyboard Favorites"
2004 "From The Heart"
2003 "Back Again"
Right On Time
Not So Much
Work In The Field
It's All Good
Come To the Master
When Jesus Rides on the Clouds
Here And Now
Gonna Be Joy
Sail Away CD Review
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Artist: Ray Vester Project Title: Sail Away Label: Vision Quest Producer: Randy Stalls Reviewed ...Artist: Ray Vester
Project Title: Sail Away
Label: Vision Quest
Producer: Randy Stalls
Reviewed By: Abigail Wingate
Purchase this project at: www.rayvester.com
I believe that this is the second project from Ray Vester that we have reviewed. The first project was very good and I had high expections for this one! The latest project from Ray is also another good one that you will enjoy.
"A New Song" has a message of the new song we sing about Christ! Great subject matter for a song and a catchy tune to go with it. "God Does" is a slower melody that reminds us that God does know what we need before we ask. The next song on the project is "Brave Heart." It is a unique song with a good message.
"It's All Good" is the current radio single and is charting on a couple of charts. This song leads us right into a fast paced song titled "An Old Fashioned Love." It is a very good song about God's Love. "It's Worth It All" is a catchy tune that reminds us of the great reward we get when we serve the Lord. "Bump Bump" is the next song and as unique titles go this might take the cake. It does talk of the bumps in the road of life we all face and how God is there to guide us through them.
"The Keys To The Kingdom" is a slower melody with a good message. The next song is the title song to the project titled "Sail Away." The song is an up tempo song and you will enjoy it as it talks about sailing away from our trouble. The final song on the project is "Through The Fire." However, it is not the song that the Crabb Family made popular several years ago. It is a good song however.
Ray's style lends itself to an easy listening project. You will enjoy the music on the project and you will be blessed on it. My favorite songs on this project are "A New Song," "An Old Fashioned Love" and "Sail Away." The project is a good one so get a copy today. For more information visit Ray's website at www.rayvester.com.
Back Again CD Review
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RAY VESTER ~ BACK AGAIN 3R1 MUSIC GROUP ~ PRODUCED BY: RAY VESTER Singer and songwriter Ray ...RAY VESTER ~ BACK AGAIN
3R1 MUSIC GROUP ~ PRODUCED BY: RAY VESTER
Singer and songwriter Ray Vester sent us a project for review a while back and it's chocked full of ten terrific songs and Ray had a hand in writing all of them!
TAKE THAT FINAL FLIGHT is a great song! It's upbeat and it talks of that day that we TAKE THAT FINAL FLIGHT to see Jesus! BACK AGAIN is a great song of rededication. DAD'S AT HOME WITH JESUS is a tribute to Ray's father who, according to the liner notes, passed away in 1999.
THE WELL OF LIVING WATER picks up the pace once again and it's an enjoyable, upbeat song! THE GREAT I AM slows it down again and is a great song of worship. The next two songs were co-written by Ray and his mom. The liner notes also revealed Ray's mom passed away in 2003. REJOICE IN HIS LOVE is a great song that I had a nice time listening too. JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING is a song that you can tell is a good one just by the title! It does not disappoint, the song is terrific.
GONNA BE JOY is a song that Ray does a great job on but the song sounds like a quartet song! I would love to hear one of today's Southern Gospel Quartet's record this song! THE GREATEST GIFT is the next song and it sends us right into the final song on the project. WHEN JESUS RIDES ON THE CLOUDS is a flat out barn burner! It's a great ending to this project and of course helps all Christians look forward to that great day when Jesus comes back to get His Saints.
Ray is, without question, a very talented guy. He is a good singer and a terrific songwriter. All ten songs on this project are lyrically strong and well produced. My favorite songs from the project are TAKE THAT FINAL FLIGHT, REJOICE IN HIS LOVE and THE GREAT I AM. I must admit that I am not real familiar with the music of Ray Vester but I am impressed with this project and have no problems recommending it to our readers! For more information on Ray, visit www.rayvester.com.
"Take That Final Flight"
"From The Heart"
"A New Song"
"Through The Fire"
"It's All Good"
"It's A Miracle"
"The Old Gospel Ship"
"The Jesus Express"
"Gonna Be Joy"
"When Jesus Rides on the Clouds"
There are no upcoming dates at this time.