A local pastor who was a former economic development director for Henry County died Wednesday in Memphis.

Ray Whitlow, 74, of Germantown died at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete but will be announced by Ridgeway Funeral Home.

Whitlow was pastor at McDavid Grove Baptist Church, located at 10430 Hwy. 69A in Springville.

Prior to becoming a pastor, Whitlow worked in economic and community development. 

He was Henry County’s main industrial recruiter for four years, from 2000-2004, when he was economic development director for the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee.

Whitlow resigned in 2004 after four years on the job. He had suffered a heart attack in 2003. 

He began in the job Nov. 1, 2000, replacing Mark Herbison, who had vacated the post to take a job with the state.

A native of Mayfield who grew up in Murray, Whitlow spent eight years prior to coming to Henry County as an industrial consultant with the Department of Economic and Community Development. 

He was based in the ECD’s Jackson office, working with industrial prospects, existing industry and communities.

Prior to joining the ECD, Whitlow spent 24 years in various management positions with companies in the Southeast. 

For 12 of those years, he helped set up offshore operations for U.S. companies and traveled extensively in Central and South America.  

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