University of Southern California

Center for Religion & Civic Culture

Cecil L. Murray

Image of Cecil L. Murray

Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray joined the faculty of USC. After retiring from his post as pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), he was appointed as the John R. Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics in the School of Religion at the University of Southern California. In addition, Rev. Murray was named a senior fellow of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture. He chairs the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement. Murray holds a doctorate from Claremont School of Theology and has many years of experience as a senior statesman in the African American community and in the city of Los Angeles as a whole.

During his 27 years as FAME’s pastor, Rev. Murray transformed a small congregation of 250 into an 18,000 person church with multi-million dollar community and economic development programs that have brought jobs, housing, and corporate investment into many South Los Angeles neighborhoods. Many politicians, including President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, visited his pulpit and spoke to the congregation. Murray, though he is retired from ministry, is a vibrant force with a passion to ensure that the legacy of African American Church leaders of the Civil Rights generation pass on their years of experience, spiritual authority, and political pragmatism, to the next generation.

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