In his Church assignments, Elder Robert Christopher Gay often speaks of the message of Jesus Christ as “a gospel of deliverance.”
“That’s what we’ve seen and experienced all our lives,” Elder Gay said, referring to himself and his wife, Lynette Nielsen Gay. “We worship the God of deliverance: spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional. Through the Atonement of Christ, all our burdens may be lifted. Through Him, we find the strength, peace, and grace needed to endure life’s trials and return to our Heavenly Father.”
Elder Gay derives his greatest satisfaction from the humanitarian service he and Sister Gay have been blessed to render, both abroad and closer to home. For example, before and after serving as president of the Accra Ghana Mission from 2004 to 2007, he and Sister Gay worked in African villages and elsewhere to build schools and medical clinics and help develop literacy and micro-loan programs. Organizations they cofounded with other associates have helped lift millions of the poor around the globe.
Born in September 1951 in Los Angeles, California, USA, to Bill and Mary Gay, he was introduced to his future wife by a mutual high school friend whom they later helped into the Church. They married in the Los Angeles California Temple in April 1974 and have seven children.
Elder Gay earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a doctorate from Harvard University, where he also taught economics.
Involved in the private equity industry for over 25 years, Elder Gay has worked internationally to invest in and grow businesses.
At the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy, he was serving as an Area Seventy in the North America Southeast Area. In addition to serving a full-time mission to Spain from 1971 to 1973, Elder Gay has served as a bishop’s counselor, high councilor, high priests group leader, Gospel Doctrine teacher, ward mission leader, and ward Young Men president.