I WISH TO ACKNOWLEDGE the invaluable assistance and encouragement of Elaine Stedman, wife of Ray Stedman, and their four daughters, Sheila, Susan, Linda, and Laurie. This biography was written with their permission and support.
The Ray C. Stedman Library, maintained by Discovery Publishing on the Peninsula Bible Church Web site (www.pbc.org) and containing many of Ray's sermons and four of his books in their entirety, was also a tremendous source of information about Ray Stedman and his ministry. [Note: Since this book was published, the Ray Stedman Library has its own new web site, www.RayStedman.org --ed.].
Joanie Burnside's unpublished history of Peninsula Bible Church from 1948 to 1998, A Stone's Throw, was an invaluable resource, as was Wade Whitcomb's unpublished homiletic biography on Ray Stedman, "Passing of the Torch."
I also wish to acknowledge Ruth N. Brandon for her tireless work in preparing the dissertation stage of this manuscript, as well as her assistance with the bibliography of Ray Stedman's writings.
I am grateful to Haddon Robinson for his encouragement and counsel in this project and for presenting the manuscript to Discovery House. And many thanks to Judith Markham at Discovery House for her skillful editorial work.
Thank you also to Jim Arthur and the kind people of Winifred, Montana, who gave me a deeper understanding of Ray Stedman's roots. It would have been hard to understand Ray without a visit to Winifred.
Gratitude also to those who were so generous with their time in granting interviews and/or helpful information via e-mail: Lambert Dolphin, Bev Forsyth, Doug Goins, Jim and Marian Heaton, Howard and Jeanne Hendricks, Bill Lawrence, Brian Morgan, Ray Ortlund, Jr., Luis Palau, Bob Roe, David and Carolyn Roper, David Smith, Wendell Sheets, Alan Stedman, Jimmy Stewart, and Steve Zeisler.
I am grateful to the people of Central Peninsula Church, whom I have served as Teaching Pastor since 1986, for giving me the freedom to pursue this project and putting up with endless sermon illustrations from the life of Ray Stedman. It is a joy to serve Christ with you.
Finally, I am deeply grateful to my family for their support, encouragement, good humor, and unconditional love. I wish to thank my wife, Lynn, and my three children: Anne-Marie, Kimberly, and Matthew. Thanks also go to my father, Stewart W. Mitchell, for always believing in me and encouraging me to set the highest goals.