Dr. Ray Ford and the choirs of the First Baptist Church of Cleburne and Field Street Baptist Church will bring messages in word and song on Good Friday, concluding the 32nd observance of Holy Week under the sponsorship of the Cleburne Christian Business Club.

“We will also be honoring the family of Dr. Mason Shiflett, one of the founders of the Cleburne Christian Business Club and the Holy Week observance,” said Vance Castles, co-chairman of the Holy Week services committee. “These annual services were very important to him, as was the Cleburne Christian Business Club. The fact that he saw the importance of bringing our community together to celebrate and remember the sacred days leading up to Easter and dedicated so much of his time making sure the services continued year after year said a lot about him as a Christian and a person — in that order.”

Shiflett’s son, Mike, will provide the benediction at Friday’s service, and E.J. Barnes will give the invocation. Jerry Webber, a past president of Cleburne Christian Business Club, will read the Scripture accompanying Ford’s program.

Born in Alexandria, La., the youngest of four children, Ford attended Baylor University on football and academic scholarships. He was salutatorian of his class in high school. He was a three-year letterman for the Bears, which made two bowl appearances during his years at Baylor. He was also a Bible study leader and participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology, he enrolled in the Louisiana State University Health Science Center, receiving his medical degree in 1999. His four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology also took place at LSU. Ford joined Cleburne’s medical community in 2003.

He and his wife, J.J., will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary in May. They have five children, Jesse, Ruth, Esther, Anna and Joshua. The Fords attend Cleburne Bible Church, where Ford works with the Awanas program.

He is a junior fellow in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Society, Texas Medical Association and the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce.

Community groups that will be recognized Friday include the East Cleburne Community Center, Heritage Assembly, the employees of Cleburne real estate agencies and members of Cleburne Bible Church, First Baptist Church and Field Street Baptist Church.

The host of the day, Lisa Magers, will introduce the Cleburne Christian Business Club officers for 2008-09: President Jimmy Fife; Travis Adams, vice president; Mildred Townsend, secretary; and Phyllis Fife, treasurer.

The service begins at 7 a.m. at the Cleburne Civic Center, with fellowship led by Joan Hinds and Sharon James starting at 6:45 a.m. Preservice music will be provided by Dr. Joe Martin.

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