|Robert Shelby Murray began his pastoral ministry in the year 1953, and it was destined that he would serve the Washington Circuit for the next 25 years, or until he would retire from the itinerant relationship in the year 1978. Beyond official retirement he served the St. Paul Church in Monroe.
I always thought that Robert Murray reflected a high sense of Christian ministry and courage that enhanced and enriched the life of the Louisiana Conference and the people whom he so graciously served. He will be remembered by those who knew him and who followed his ministry as a preacher/pastor who championed the cause of the rural church. He was a man of tremendous spiritual strength and a lover of humanity. Robert Murray truly was one of the builders of a better world.
Nine years ago he moved to New Orleans so he could be near his daughter, Barbara Murray, who showered her love and tender care upon him until the final summons was sounded on the distant shore April 28, and the 93 year-old soldier of the cross fell asleep in the arms of Jesus.
A Sunday evening funeral service was conducted in New Orleans April 30, with the Reverend Freddie Henderson, District Superintendent, officiating, assisted by the Reverend Joe Connelly, pastor of Cornerstone UMC in New Orleans, Dr. Robert S. Hall of St. Peter African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. Lawrence Evans, pastor of the Central Congregational United Church of Christ, and yours truly, the writer of this memoir.
The body was transported to Monroe where a second funeral service was conducted Monday, May 1, at 12:00 noon at St. Paul UMC with the Reverend Freddie Henderson, District Superintendent of the New Orleans District, officiating with the Reverends Jackie Holmes, R.J. Brown, retired, and Roosevelt Wright, pastor New Tabernacle Baptist Church assisting.
“Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep
from which none ever wakes to weep,
A calm and undisturbed repose
Unbroken by the last of foes.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 2000, p. 247 By Samuel W. Walker|