Born May 28, 1921 in Waterloo, Iowa to Elsie M. Huber Murray and Harry N. Murray, both deceased. Married to Dr. Beulah Blunt Murray, December 19, 1942 who predeceased him October 3, 1997. To that union were born a son, Joseph Paul (Sue) and Kathryn Elizabeth Murray Russell (Robert). Martha Jane Turner Murray and Dr. Ralph Murray were married June 27, 1998 and she is deceased since September 23, 2013. Grandchildren include Millicent, Matthew (deceased), Nicholas and Brittany; great-grandchildren, Abigail and Laila; step-grandchild, Matthew Turner of Louisville, Kentucky; and step-daughters, Carol Turrini and Margaret Turner, both of Novato, California.
Dr. Ralph Murray graduated from East High, Waterloo, Iowa in 1938; attended the University of Northern Iowa (2 years), transferred to Carson Newman Collage and graduated in the class of 1943, magna cum laude. In the Fall of 1944, Dr. Murray matriculated at Southern Seminary, Louisville from which he earned the B.D. and Th. M. degrees. In 1967, Carson Newman conferred upon him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Further formal education included short-term studies at Union Seminary, New York; Princeton Seminary, New Jersey: Mansfield College, Oxford, England: St. Andrews University, St. Andrews, Scotland. Dr. Murray was ordained to the ministry in May, 1942 by the Central Baptist Church of Fountain City (Knoxville).
Dr. Murray served churches in Kentucky and Tennessee, the longest pastorate being with Smithwood Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee (21+years). During that time he served as president, Knoxville Ministerial Association moderator, Knox County Baptist Association; trustee, Harrison Chilhowee Academy; chairman, Tennessee Baptist Press; chairman, TBC Executive Board Education Committee; member TBC Executive Committee; Executive committee, Southern Baptist Convention Nominating committee; and commissioner, Southern Baptist Stewardship commission. In 1969 Dr. Murray was invited to join the Sunday School Board, Nashville, Tennessee as an editor and consultant in the BSSB Sunday School department. He served in this post until retirement in June, 1986, but continued serving area churches as interim pastor until 1993.
Dr. Murray has written seven books, all published by Broadman Press; numerous articles; Sunday School lessons; and taught actively until 2008, the last being with the Sojourners' Class of First Baptist Church, Nashville.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, May 28, 2021, at 11:00 A.M. with Dr. Art Burcham and Rev. Dick Waggener officiating. Inurnment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Iowa.
Gathering of Family & Friends will be held Friday, May 28, 2021 from 10:00 A.M. until the service hour.
Flowers accepted or memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association 7272 Greenville Avenue Dallas, TX 75231 or Parkinson's Foundation Tennessee and Kentucky Chapter Attn: Donor Services 200 SE 1st Street Suite 800 Miami, FL 33131.
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