Ray Sutherland grew up a farm boy in Kentucky, then joined the army where he was sent to Germany. He graduated from Western Kentucky University and got a doctorate in Bible from Vanderbilt University in 1986. Since then he has taught Bible in the Religion Department of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He was pastor of South Laurinburg Baptist Church and was an instructor in the U. S. Army Chaplains’ School at Ft. Jackson, as a reservist.

Sutherland is married to Regina. They have two sons and four grandchildren.