“What Pastor of Los Angeles should be in every future history book and should also be a household name throughout the United States of America?” Kimlin Johnson

November 3, 2017

Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray is known for being the Senior Pastor of the headquarter church (First A.M.E./F.AM.E.) during the 1992 Civil Unrest.  He is also known for so much more like rebuilding Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest, setting up FAME Beyond the Walls, and his philanthropy the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement (CMCCE) with USC, launched in 2012.  Reverend Murray is still relentlessly working and serving to make this world a better place. 

The Pastor of Los Angeles, Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, who grew the First African Methodist Episcopal (F.A.M.E.) Church from 300 members in 1977 to a congregation of 18,000. He also established outreach missions that made the church a force for good in the larger community.  Reverend Murray’s example of giving back has helped me shape what Authenticity, Accountability, & Ambition - What America is lacking through a Black woman’s eyes?(AAA) has become.  Reverend Murray’s contribution to AAA is not only in the first three chapters, but throughout my entire book.  He contributes an exploration of Black heritage that is missing from most history books. Black people have played a vital role in the creation of this country from its inception, just as they have always contributed to human innovation and advancement. Celebrating the full richness of what Africans and members of the African Diaspora have accomplished in the past is an inspiring first step towards embracing our current potential.

“At the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC), we feel so lucky to be in Rev. Murray’s presence every day.”

“As a faith leader, Pastor Murray has guided communities—and the entire city of Los Angeles—through good times and bad since the Civil Rights era. He rose to national prominence during Los Angeles’ 1992 civil unrest, when he voiced his community’s grievances while urging calm through the media and from the pulpit at First AME Church.

At FAME and now at USC, Pastor Murray treats individuals living on the streets with the same respect as he treats presidents and mayors. From a couple’s marital strife to an activist’s concern with federal laws, he listens intently and offers words of wisdom.

Though “retired” from ministry, Pastor Murray is still doing God’s work at USC, and he is the first one in the office every morning. Through the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, he pours his tremendous energy into passing the “Murray Method” of faith leadership on to the next generation.  The USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement’s mission is to equip faith leaders to empower communities. The Murray Center provides clergy and lay leaders in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in Southern California with training, mentoring and a network of support, so that faith communities can become full partners in social change. (https://crcc.usc.edu/events-and-training/murraycenter/)”

Reverend Murray is my church father, he married Stan and I 17 years ago, Christened our oldest child, blessed our home, officiated at our 10-year private anniversary celebration and is a significant part of our extended family.  If you would like to know more details on what Reverend Murray is up to today please google Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement.  I encourage all who want to read an inspirational auto-biography, learn more Black History and take a good look at yourself - please purchase Reverend Cecil L. Chip Murray’s book, Twice Tested By Fire.

This is the first blog that will be in the B- RELYT Category entitled, “Black History

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