USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Support the Murray Archive

Audio cassettes and VHS tapes have become curiosity items in our digitized, Internet-addicted age. The data they contain is inaccessible to the browsers on our phones and laptops, and the delicate filaments on which that data is stored steadily degrade with the passing years. At a time when social media users’ selfies can last indefinitely, the wisdom of a modern prophet could be lost forever.

Please help us digitize, curate and preserve the sermons of one such prophet—the Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray. To support this project, click here and donate to the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement.

Throughout his career, Rev. Murray integrated a powerful critique of institutional racism and other forms of social injustice in the U.S. with a visionary spiritual witness. Indeed, he declared that Black Lives Matter long before the hashtag that inspired today’s civil rights movement was born.

From the pulpit of First African Methodist Episcopal Church (commonly known as FAME) in Los Angeles, he addressed key junctures in the history of Los Angeles and the rest of the country during the late 20th century—the 1992 civil unrest, also known as the L.A. Riots or L.A. Uprising; the OJ Simpson trial; 9/11 and more. Moreover, he built FAME into an essential community center in South Los Angeles, with intersectional forms of social engagement and community development programs that brought economic opportunity into long-neglected neighborhoods.

Our ambitions for this project include a searchable, annotated catalogue of sermons and interviews as well as books that will provide a detailed narrative frame for a set of homilies that inspired a complex, rapidly evolving city.

Click here to help preserve Rev. Murray’s legacy

(Select Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement)

Here’s what your donation will help us do:

$30 helps us digitize 1 audio tape

$75 helps us digitize 1 video tape

$250 helps us transcribe 1 sermon

$500 helps us produce 1 captioned video and post it online

$1,000 helps us digitize 10 audio/video sermons

$5,000 helps us produce and post 10 captioned videos

$7,500 helps us produce 10 podcasts with sermons and interviews

$10,000 helps us produce a book of sermons

Click here to donate to the Murray Archive

(Select Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement)

Donate now, and receive a signed copy of “Joy in the Morning,” a PDF of 14 sermons.


Your donation is tax-deductible. More importantly, it might just help reduce suffering in the future by preserving the prophetic wisdom of a man whose words have calmed waters and quenched fires. Pay it forward.

Thank you to our current supporters:

John Randolph Haynes Foundation – initial funding grant

First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles – in-kind donation

Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, senior minister of FAME
Michael Ellison-Lewis, senior advisor to the CEO of FAME

Click here to add your name to the list of supporters 

(Select Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement)