Gray is considered an expert on church polity and structure, and is the co-author of Presbyterian Polity for Church Officers. She previously served as moderator of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission and a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Advisory Committee on the Constitution. Through five General Assemblies before and after Presbyterian reunion in 1983, she served on the Provisional Constitutional Committee. All of these are very important positions that provided Gray with insight and skill needed to be the moderator of the General Assembly.
Joan Gray was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament on March 12, 1978. Prior to serving as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Gray served seven churches in the Atlanta area — Fellowship, Oglethorpe, Columbia, Hemphill, Good Shepherd, Smyrna, and College Park. She has served as Adjunct Faculty at Columbia Theological Seminary, Johnson C. Smith Seminary and has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary.