Rev. Cecil Murray turned 88 years young this year, and the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture celebrated his lifetime of faith and service with some of his family, friends and city leaders.
Birthday greetings came from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (via video), the Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, USC’s Tom Sayles, Rev. “J” Edgar Boyd of FAME Church and his family members.
At the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, 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 onto the next generation.