Reverend Herlies Murphy Sr.

Pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church Reverend Herlies Murphy, Sr., age 79, after fighting the good fight of faith, passed from earth to glory Friday, November 30, 2012 at UPMC-Hamot in Erie, Pa. He was born on March 17, 1933 in Grifton, N. C., son of the late William Henry and Helen Cox Murphy. A resident of Erie for 35 years, he was educated in Snow Hill, N. C. and attended Moody Bible School. The Erie community will remember him for his sacrificial service as the proud Pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church for 35 years. His distinguished pastorate was preceded by and included a singing career that began at the age of 18 in Greenville, N. C. He served as singer and musician for the National Moderators of the National Baptist Convention under the leadership of Dr. Edward Small. He also organized the Powerlite Gospel Singers of Akron, Ohio. After 28 years of gospel singing, he was called to the ministry in September, 1976. He was licensed to preach by his Pastor, the late Reverend Manuel Hendricks, of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Painesville, Ohio. His first and only pastorate was Community Missionary Baptist Church of Erie, Pa. Among many accomplishments, Community Baptist Church will remember him in love for the purchase of the new church at 10th & German, for hundreds of new members who joined under his dynamic preaching and singing, Christian educational programs, paved parking lot, and many internal improvements to the church building. His leadership extended to the Ohio Baptist State Convention where under the leadership of his President and close friend, Rev. Dr. A. L. Owens, he served faithfully as President of the Trustee Board. His leadership reached to the Evangelistic Board of the National Baptist Convention under the late Dr. E. J. Jones, President where he served as its Treasurer. Rev. Murphy's colleagues will remember him for his greater leadership. He served as one of the Presidents of I.M.A.G.E., chaired the East Side Ministry of Erie, as well as a President of the African American Concerned Clergy of Greater Erie. He will be remembered in the community for his prophetic leadership and love for youth. In 1991 he founded, organized and became the first President of Walking in Black History, which is alive and well today. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Velma Harris Murphy; a son, Herlies Murphy, Jr.; two brothers, Paul and Harriston Murphy; and a sister, Esther Moore. He leaves to cherish his memory four sons, Johnny Harris of Cleveland, Ohio, Herlies Don Diego Murphy (Cathi) of Clermont, Fla., Stanford D. Murphy (Connie) of Akron, Ohio and John W. H. Murphy (Carlesa) of Massillon, Ohio; four daughters, Serbonica Murphy of Aurora, Colo., Regina Lockhart (Lorenzo) of Aurora, Ohio, Helen Murphy of Orlando, Fla. and Felicia Miles (Leroy) of Philadelphia, Pa.; a sister, Anice Banks (Lucius) of Chicago, Ill.; an aunt, Essie William of Washington, D. C.; special sister-in-law, Almeta Murphy of Chicago, Ill; special niece, Patricia Murphy of Chicago, Ill.; 16 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and many relatives, his church family and friends. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Community Missionary Baptist Church, 1007 German St., where reflections from the community will begin at 6 p.m. and a praise hour will follow at 7 p.m. A homegoing service will be held on Saturday, 11 a.m., at Second Baptist Church, 757 E. 26th St., with Rev. Dr. A. L Owens officiating, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio and Rev. Charles E. Mock eulogizing, Associate Minister of Community Missionary Baptist Church. Interment in Erie Cemetery. Funeralization by House of Law Inc., 9406 Frankstown Rd., Penn Hills, Pa. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Walking in Black History in care of Community Missionary Baptist Church, 1007 German St., Erie, PA 16503.

Published in the Erie Times-News on Dec. 6, 2012