Reverand I.'s Story
Rev. I. Ray Kline, 70, of Palmyra, passed away with his family by his side at his home Saturday morning, Jan. 6, 2018.
Ray was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on Dec. 24, 2015. He served the Lord and the Community up until his passing. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
He was born June 2, 1947, in Lewisburg, a son of Ira R. Kline and the late Doris M. (Erb) Kline. Ray was the beloved husband of Linda L. Thomas Kline and would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this coming May 25.
Ray graduated from Milton High School in 1965. While in high school at the age of 16 he began his ministry and assisted in his local church in West Milton. Ray earned a BA in business from Bloomsburg College in 1969.
Ray and Linda were blessed with their first child, Beth in 1969. Ray's love of service to God and spreading God's word was utmost important to him. In 1971, Ray founded Faith Fellowship Church in Lebanon. The first church opened their doors on South Sixth Street. In 1972, their second child, Ira was born. He was ordained in the United Pentecostal Church in 1973 in West Grove. Faith Fellowship continued to grow and God blessed them that in 1974 they moved to the Retired Steel Workers Hall on Chestnut Street in Lebanon. As the church continued to grow, Pastor Kline and the congregation were able to purchase land on the Northside of South Fifth Avenue and Klein Avenue in Lebanon. The new building opened their doors and the church continued to flourish under Pastor I. Ray Kline's leadership. In 1984, the Lord blessed the congregation and they purchased the present location at 721 E. Penn Ave., Cleona. The church has gone through two remodeling phases while in Cleona. His leadership has been blessed and the church has a full outreach of programs that remain in effect today and continues to expand. The outreach programs include Children and Youth Ministry, Sunday Celebration, complete family outreach, prison ministry serving Lebanon and Dauphin counties, ministry to six nursing homes, Step into Life ministries which focuses on helping families adjust from prison life to a fulfilling member of society along with many more ministries. Pastor Kline remained the senior pastor of Faith Fellowship Church until going home to the Lord this past Saturday. During his 47 years in the ministry, both Ray and his staff have mentored numerous preachers and teachers, many which are still serving the Lord throughout the country.
Ray became a successful businessman during his life. His first job was with Keystone Drugstore in Milton, which in a short time in 1969 he became the director of purchasing and merchandising. Ray became the store manager and purchasing agent for Gateway Pharmacy, Phoenixville, Pa., in 1976. He was able to form a partnership with Steven M. Craner and the two of them purchased Springford Pharmacy in 1978. They became known as S-Ford Partners. After four years of planning in 1990, S-Ford Partners opened Birdsboro Pharmacy.
Pastor Kline held several district offices for the United Pentecostal Church in the past 47 years. He was the youth secretary/treasurer for Pennsylvania and also the district secretary/treasurer for the Sunday School Department in Pennsylvania. He later became the district secretary/treasurer for the Home Missions Department of Pennsylvania and finally held the position of secretary/treasurer for the General District for the State of Pennsylvania United Pentecostal Church.
Ray's philosophy of "don't judge a book by its cover" showed in his commitment of serving God and his compassion for others. His family became first in his life and he stressed the importance of education to all of them. Ray earned his private pilot license earlier in his life and proudly had ownership of a Cessna 182 and 340 Alpha. He loved to travel with Linda, often in their RV, especially to her home state of Florida. They have toured the entire Holy Land, traveled to Hong Kong, Egypt, China, Philippines, Europe and the majority of the U.S., including Hawaii. He loved to deep sea fish, especially in the Indian River inlet in Delaware.
Ray will be dearly missed by his loving family; his father, Ira R., of Milton; his wife, Linda L. Thomas Kline; daughter, Linda Beth, wife of Howard A. Lerch, of Annville; and his son, Ira Ray Jr., husband of Christina D. Roh Kline, of Hummelstown. Ray's grandchildren were his world and he was known to say that if "he knew grandchildren were this fun, he would have had them first!" He leaves behind his grandchildren to carry on his legacy, Ira Ray Kline III, Jacob E., husband of Paige Moyer Kline, Harrison C. Lerch, Cora E. Lerch and Rebecca D. Kline. Ray is also survived by his sisters, Evelyn, wife of Robert Pistone of Yuma, AZ, Peggy Thornton of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Sharon, wife of Rev. David Puckett, of Williston, N.D.; brothers, Wayne, husband of Mary Kline, of Dove Creek, Colo., and Barry Kline, of Tacoma, Wash.; 14 nieces and nephews; 30 great-nieces and nephews; and nine great-great-nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend Ray's funeral services at 11 a.m. Friday at the Faith Fellowship Church, 721 E. Penn Ave., Cleona. Friends will be received at the church from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday.
Interment will be held in Gravel Hill Cemetery, Palmyra.
Memorial remembrances may be made in Pastor Kline's memory to Faith Fellowship Church to continue his work in ministry.
For other information, please call 717-272-4634 or to submit an online condolence visit www.porterfieldscheidfh.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Porterfield-Scheid Funeral Directors & Cremation Services, Ltd., Lebanon.
Published on January 10, 2018