Rayford Steele is a tertiary character in the Left Behind: Global Justice fanfiction series.
Rayford Steele was a former member of the ROTC who married a fellow member in college named Irene, who then settled in Mount Prospect, Illinois (near Chicago) and fathered two children, a daughter named Chloe and a son named Rayford Steele, Jr. (nicknamed Raymie). It was around the time after Raymie was born that Irene began to seek out God for herself, which led her to become a member of New Hope Village Church and thus become a Christian. Rayford was turned off by his wife's enthusiasm about her newfound faith as well with the messages her church was preaching, and thus started seeking a relationship with his fellow worker Hattie Durham, a flight attendant who worked alongside Rayford as an airline pilot for Pan Continental. He also became distant from his own son when he started attending New Hope Village Church and became a Christian.
It was on a midnight flight from Chicago to London that Rayford and his co-pilot Christopher Smith were flying the plane on when the Rapture happened, first witnessed by Hattie when she noticed that there were passengers missing from their seats. With Rayford discovering that the phenomenon was worldwide, also affecting other airline flights, he decided to turn the plane around and head back to Chicago for everybody's safety. Upon his return home to Mount Prospect, Rayford discovered that his wife and son were both taken in the Rapture. Disgusted with himself that he didn't believe what his wife was telling him about the Rapture, Rapture sought help from New Hope Village Church and was given a video file recorded by its pastor Vernon Billings, telling him about the Rapture and the things he should expect to happen in the days following it. Realizing that his soul was in danger, Rayford prayed to God for His forgiveness and to make him a child of God.
In the time between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation, Rayford met up with his daughter Chloe, who returned home from Stamford University when she found out her mother and brother were gone. Also around the same time, they met Cameron (Buck) Williams, who was working for the Global Weekly magazine, and they introduced him to Bruce Barnes, the acting pastor of New Hope Village Church, who warned him about the coming Antichrist. With Chloe and Buck coming to the saving faith of Jesus Christ along with Rayford and Bruce, the four of them would form the nucleus of the Tribulation Force.
It was during the first quarter of the Tribulation when Rayford was given the assignment of piloting Nicolae Carpathia and Gerald Fitzhugh to the signing of the seven-year treaty between Israel and the Global Community that would ensure peace for both the nation and the world. Rayford's assignment would later become a permanent job switch as he would become the pilot of Global Community One, the executive plane that Nicolae would personally travel in. During this time, Rayford would fall in love with and marry Amanda White, a friend of Irene, who would become a believer after her first husband was taken in the Rapture. However, tragedy would struck during that time period, as his friend Bruce Barnes would be killed by poisoning on his return to Chicago during World War III, and his second wife Irene would be killed in a plane crash during the Wrath of the Lamb.
Rayford would leave his position as Nicolae's pilot and go underground with members of the Tribulation Force, first operating within an abandoned house in the Mount Prospect area, then moving to the Strong Building in Chicago after the city was deserted and pronounced irradiated by Christian insiders working within the New Babylon tech center, then moving to an abandoned underground military bunker in San Diego, then eventually to Petra where the Jewish refugees in Israel have fled to for the last half of the Tribulation.