By Jacquinette D. Murphy, North Dallas Gazette Contributing Writer
“I have the BEST job in the world!”
Apostle Herman L. Murray recently declared these words to the congregation of the Full Gospel Holy Temple Churches, Incorporated. They were celebrating 57 years of ministry. This 41-year-old has led the ministry for the last seven years and is proud of its legacy and continued global growth.
Although not the noted courtroom lawyer of his childhood dreams, he is steadily presenting the case of the gospel and winning others to Jesus Christ. Apostle Murray’s leadership of a local 3,000 congregation, evangelistic travels and, weekly sermons are often heard around the world. The goal is to see the transformative impact of God’s word on the lives of people.
“I love the opportunity to reach out and affect those people who may not necessarily walk into a church, doing tent revivals and having ministries that go out to disenfranchised populations and those that are hurting and mishandled by life. Everyone needs to know that they are important, especially to God.” said Apostle Murray.
Ministry for Apostle Murray is synonymous with life. He saw ministry in action through the lives of his father, Herman Murray, Sr., a teacher and an elder in the church and grandfather, the founding Apostle Lobias Murray who started the church in South Dallas in 1961 with just six borrowed chairs in a repurposed barbeque pit.
“My father was the smartest man in ministry that I knew, and my grandfather was the most influential. I loved how ministry shaped their lives and how it influenced their life situations. Being around the people that I admired the most, put me in a place where I never lost interest in the church,” Murray said.
In addition to the church, education was a huge component of his family legacy. So, going to college and having a successful career was his plan.
“I wanted to be a lawyer, said Murray. “When I entered college the first time my major was political science.”
He was well on his way until the start of his sophomore year at Southern Methodist University in August 1996.
“It was the first day of classes and at about 4:30 a.m. I received a call to hurry and get to the hospital because my father was passing away and he passed away that afternoon.”
He tried to return to his college studies and instead found himself amid his grief, losing interest and focus. Meanwhile, he felt the urgent tug of God calling him to a new direction.
“I remember being in my college class and hearing the professor say, ‘I will see you Thursday.’” He then realized that he had not heard anything else he said during the entire class. “In my head, I was in a large auditorium, and I had preached a whole sermon to a large congregation. I was feeling a call to ministry that I did not normally feel that strongly.”
So, at the end of the spring of 1997, he pressed the pause button on his natural career to heed God’s call. He officially became a full-time minister and was commissioned to serve with the pastor. He also met and soon married his wife of now 20 years, Daniele.
Apostle Murray spent more than 15 years traveling and learning alongside the founding apostle.
“He saw something in me and felt like I was someone that he could train. So, he took time and poured into me. He trained me in ministry, gave me opportunity and experience. He instilled in me guiding principles and showed me the way.
At the end of 2011 following the passing of the elder Apostle, he picked up the reigns of the mega-ministry at only 34 years of age with all he learned in mind.
Apostle Murray believes the key to balancing a thriving ministry with his home life is an understanding family. He and his wife, Lady Daniele have one son, Hadyn.
“Marrying Herman has truly made me a different person,” she shared. “I have grown a great deal. Ministry was most important for him, so that was the very first lesson I ever learned from him. It turns out it was the best lesson he could have ever taught me because now my relationship with God is the one thing I’m not able to live without” she said. “Now, I get to serve God’s people, speak into the lives of God’s people and seek His counsel to help my husband serve in His Kingdom.”
For the last five years, she has been traveling and sharing the gospel alongside her husband and is proud of his journey of perseverance, a quality she admires.
“He does everything to the best of his ability,” Lady Daniele shared. “Since we’ve been married, he’s been the kind of man of God that when he says he’s going to do it. he does it with his whole heart.”
Most recently, he persevered and finished the educational journey he started 20 years ago. He returned to Southern Methodist University and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 2018.
For two years, as he was preaching weekly, leading the ministry, pastoring two churches, counseling members, and spending time with his family, he also was taking six classes on campus per semester.
He recalled spending many nights counseling members and then pulling out his laptop to write a paper until about 4 a.m. Then he would go home only to change clothes and attend class
“I was determined to do it for the young people and to be an example for my son, Hayden,” Apostle Murray explained. “I wanted them to know what it means to finish and to know that they have the capacity to be successful in this life.”
He hopes that when others think that it can’t be done, they can look at his life and commitment to finish. It will help them to see it has been proven. Therefore, it can be done.