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Rev. Herbert J. Murray Jr.

1925 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Rev.  Herbert J. Murray Jr. Obituary

Rev. Herbert Jesse Murray, Jr., 89, of West Hartford, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Friday, February 14, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. Born in Kansas City, MO to Herbert Jesse Murray, Sr., and Avnes Ann (Duncan) Murray, on January 29, 1925, Herb was a native of Independence, MO. He was a newsboy and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Upon winning a newspaper essay contest, Herb was awarded a scholarship to the University of Missouri. He graduated from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1949 with a Bachelor's of Divinity degree, after which he was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Evanston, IL, by Dr. Gene Bartlett that same year. His education included an internship in Richmond, VA, at the Second Street Baptist Church. Clinical pastoral education was completed at the Manteno State Hospital (Chicago area), South Carolina State Hospital in Columbia, SC, and Federal Detention Headquarters in Greenwich Village, NY. After training, Herb became the Associate Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pittsfield, MA, a position he held for seven years. He served as Pastor at the Park Baptist Church in Staten Island, NY, for five years. For the next twelve years, he was the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Morgantown, WV, after which he and his family moved to Stamford Baptist Church in Stamford, where he served as pastor for seven years. At the pinnacle of his career, Herb served as Associate Executive Minister, Area IV, American Baptist Churches of New York, with Evangelism Portfolio, in March 1981, and retired from that position in 1987, spurred by the arrival of his first two grandchildren. Herb's life was enriched by many professional and personal associations. An admirer of Roger Williams, he was particularly proud to serve as National President of the Roger Williams Fellowship for three years. Concerned about the financial health of career Baptist Ministers, he was the Chairman of the National Task Force, Housing Equity for Baptist Ministers. He was the Organizer of the Baptist Theological Fellowship in Grafton, WV. Always intellectually inquisitive, he was a member of the C-Club in Westport, a group of Baptist Ministers who met to discuss theological matters. Another important position he held was State President of the West Virginia Baptist Ministers, and he was active in many associations and state boards and committees within the American Baptist Church and the Organizer of the Baptist Negro Scholarship Committee of Monongalia County, WV. Personal passions included postage stamps, about which he held quite a degree of knowledge, geology, rock climbing, model railroading, bicycling, canoeing and skiing. In 1976, he combined his love of travel and camping to take his family on a camping trip throughout much of Europe. The family often recalls month-long summer camping excursions all over the U.S., as well as vacations at the family's cabin in Paradise Lake, WV. Herb was predeceased by a sister, Helen (Murray) Shult. Survivors include his loving and devoted wife of 59 years, Marjorie Esther (Bowerman) Murray, originally of Pittsfield, MA; three sons, John and wife Tamela (Hancock) Murray of Manassas, VA; Jim and wife Erin (Walsh) Murray of Farmington; and Tom Murray, of Desert Hot Springs, CA; along with five grandchildren, Jill (Murray) Ha and husband Joel of Daegu, South Korea; Ann Murray, of Manassas, VA; Shaun Murray of West Hartford and Meghan and Kaitlyn Murray of Farmington. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff of North 9 at Hartford Hospital for their exceptional care and concern for Herb and his family. The family will greet visitors at Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford on Friday, (Feb 21) from 4 -7 pm. The Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, (Feb. 22), 11:00 am at Memorial Baptist Church, 142 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford. Burial will be at 1:00 pm on Monday, (Feb. 24) in Pittsfield Cemetery, Pittsfield, MA. Donations may be made to Memorial Baptist Church, 142 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Feb. 19, 2014
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