Pastor Paul Murray was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus on June 6, 2023. Those who knew Pastor Paul know that he was joyous in heaven upon his arrival. He unmistakably tells stories and makes even the most ascetic saints laugh and cry.
Paul was born on March 27, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois to John Buren Murray and Ruth (Homokee) Murray. When Paul was four years old, his family moved to South Bend, Indiana. As a boy, Paul loved buses, and when he was 12, he asked his mother if he could ride the motorcoach to the Tabernacle on Sunday mornings in South Bend. That church bus changed his life. Paul pondered Jesus in his Sunday School class and devoted the rest of his life to serving the Lord through ministry, including ten years as curator of the Temple of Calvary (now Southgate).
Paul graduated from Riley High School in 1957 and from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in 1961. He and Esther Urdin married on 25 August 1962. Paul and Esther had his two children, John and Rachel. Paul loved his family and enjoyed camping with them as his children grew up. His two favorite places to pop up camp in his motorhome were his Dunes and Pentwater in Warren, Michigan. He had fond memories of camping trips to New York City. Paul loved to entertain friends, family, and most of all, his grandchildren at the Yogi Bears permanent campground in Pierceton, Indiana.
At the age of 23, Paul was ordained a pastor and became an evangelist and pastor. During his 22 years, he pastored churches in Newell and Rapid City, South Dakota, Elkhart, Indiana, and Laporte. During his pastorship in South Dakota, Pastor Paul served as the state youth director for the District Assemblies of God Church, responsible for monthly youth meetings, annual camps and conventions. Eventually, he and his family returned to South Bend in 1985, where he served as associate pastor of the Calvary Temple until 1993. So Pastor Paul became a bus driver, a dream of his childhood, and took the elderly on trips and programs around the country. Country. In 1993 Pastor Paul left his church ministry to become a full-time missionary evangelist. His travels slowed down in recent years, but his ministry of encouraging, loving, praying, interceding, and studying the Bible never ended.
Pastor Paul’s missionary and evangelistic work included trips to Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, China, Honduras, Argentina, Venezuela, Israel, and Hong Kong. In the United States, we worked with Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona. Pastor Paul has been preaching his gospel as an itinerant riding preacher at the St. Joseph County Fair for several years. He has entertained at countless banquets, conferences, parties, retreats, camps and nursing homes, sharing inspirational stories and jokes and making his audience burst into laughter.
Paul loved Southern gospel music. He was the manager and bass singer of South Bend’s River Valley Quartet for 17 years. The quartet made two trips to Latvia, serving in orphanages, prisons and churches. In the United States, they sang at conventions, churches, seniors’ gatherings and banquets.
Paul is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Esther (Uldin) Murray, and children, John Murray (Amy), who lives in Escondido, California, and Rachelle Hillbrand, who lives in South Bend, Indiana. He loved spending time with his five grandchildren Alex Hillbrand, Rebecca Murray, Audrey Murray, John his Luke Murray, and Andrew Murray. He is also survived by his beloved brother Patrick Murray and dear sister Anne Graham (Tom), nephews Tom Murray (Kelly) and Larry Nash (Laura), and a niece Kelly Nash. .
A service in honor of the life of Reverend Paul Murray will be held Saturday, June 10, at 11:00 a.m. at Southgate Church, 3717 South Michigan Street, South Bend. Grave services and burials are held at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park in Granger. Families welcome friends to church on Fridays from 3-7pm and one hour before services on Saturdays. Donations in memory of Reverend Murray may be made to Southgate Church or Heart to Heart Hospice, 620 West Edison Rd #122, Mishawaka, IN 46545.
The Murray family’s arrangements are under the control of the Palmer Funeral Home Geisinger Chapel in South Bend.
Posted online June 7, 2023
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