Rev. Cecil Murray, Esteemed L.A. Pastor and Civil Rights Leader, Passes Away at 94

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The Rev. Cecil Murray delivers a benediction at the conclusion of a memorial service, at the Shrine Auditorium, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Los Angeles. Murray, an influential pastor and civil rights leader who gained international attention for his efforts to help Los Angeles recover from one of the country's worst race riots, died Friday, April 5, 2024. He was 94. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool, File)
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Los Angeles pastor, civil rights advocate, and community leader, Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray, passed away on Friday night at the age of 94, following health struggles, as reported by his family to KCAL News.

The Rev. Cecil Murray Sr., of the First African Methodist Episcopal, preaches to his congregation, Sunday, Dec. 20, 1998, in Los Angeles. Murray, an influential pastor and civil rights leader who gained international attention for his efforts to help Los Angeles recover from one of the country’s worst race riots, died Friday, April 5, 2024. He was 94. (AP Photo/William Wilson Lewis III, File)

Known as “Chip” to many, Rev. Murray served as the pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly thirty years. Throughout his tenure spanning 27 years, his leadership extended far beyond the church walls, as he spearheaded various initiatives to uplift the South Los Angeles community.

Bill Clinton speaks as he is joined by The Rev. Cecil Murray of First A.M.E. during a news conference at the First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 3, 1992. Murray, an influential pastor and civil rights leader who gained international attention for his efforts to help Los Angeles recover from one of the country’s worst race riots, died Friday, April 5, 2024. He was 94. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

Rev. Murray’s influence reached politics, with presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton making visits to his church. In recognition of his contributions, President Bush honored the church as the “177th Point of Light” under his Points of Light nonprofit initiative.


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