“God is within the walls to be worshiped. God is beyond the walls to be worked.”
— Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray
Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, renowned minister, community leader, civil rights champion and interfaith icon, celebrates his 92nd birthday today.
The community, in turn, celebrates the gift of his decades of service to them, and to their future.
“It is the nature and culture of the Black church to work for equity, fairness, justice and the people it serves,” Rev. Murray has said. “It can’t just wait for the community to come to the church, it must take the church to the community.”
“It can’t just wait for the community to come to the church, it must take the church to the community.”
And so he did. As senior pastor of L.A.’s First African Methodist Episcopal Church for 27 years, Rev. Murray built a congregation of 250 into one of the nation’s largest—18,000 strong—while resolving racial conflict and leading task forces tackling issues of homelessness, healthcare, substance abuse, jobs, education, housing and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Rev. Murray today serves as the John R. Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics in the School of Religion at the University of Southern California, as senior fellow of USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture, and as head of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement.
Known as a man of courage who embraces, uplifts and unites people of every race and religion, Rev. Murray continues to inspire and set an example for this nation and the world. STAND today joins religious leaders and civil rights champions to thank Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray for his decades of dedicated service to humankind.