Man Preaches On Street Corner - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/27/03 - Longview

Man Preaches On Street Corner

If you're ever near the intersection of Gilmer road and Loop 281 in Longview you may meet a man on the corner with a purpose. Ray Martinez says ten years ago he almost died. Now Martinez says he wants to tell anyone who'll listen about what changed his life.

At first glance Gilmer road and the Loop is your typical street corner in Longview. The signs are there to direct your path, but now Ray Martinez is there to help give you direction as well.

You may have seen street preachers before but Ray takes his ministry very seriously. He brings along his podium, though he rarely stands behind it.

"God has brought me up out of that horrible pit of sing, alcohol and drugs, breaking into houses, stealing cars. I've been shot at, been to prison and I did horrible, miserable things. My big change in life came in July 27, 1993. When I was in Houston, Texas and I got stabbed right here. It was a 16th of an inch by the vein in the heart. I fell on my knees and I cried out to the Lord and I said God I don't want to die on the streets right here because I knew if I died I would be going to hell," says Ray Martinez.

Since then Ray has been preaching the gospel at prisons, and now at the corner of Gilmer and the Loop.

He gets mixed reactions. Some stare, others fight the urge to look, and some seem to want to hear the street side sermon. Just as his voice finally gives out, Ray prays and with his podium in hand he leaves. He's Hoping that his message was heard.

Ray Martinez says he'll continue to preach along the street at Gilmer road and Loop 281 every morning until God tells him to stop.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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