William Hoppe Murray
1866 to 1947
Dutch Reformed Church (DRC)
South Africa / Malawi
William Hoppe Murray was a South African pioneer missionary
in Malawi. He, grandson of Andrew
Murray, Sr., became a schoolteacher but felt the call
to missionary service and studied for ministry at Stellenbosch.
Graduating in 1892, he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a
year and took medical classes. In 1894 he was ordained for
service with the pioneer Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) mission
to Malawi, which had been called to aid the Free Church of
Scotland Mission there. Mkhoma became the headquarters of
the mission, and Murray became its head in 1901, remaining
in charge until 1937. He was the principal translator in the
team that translated the New Testament into Nyanja, a project
completed in 1906. The work on the Old Testament took a long
time because everyone, including Murray, had so many other
tasks to perform, but the whole Bible in Nyanja was published
in 1924. This was also the year of the founding of the Church
of Central Africa Presbyterian. The churches that had been
brought into being by the Mkhoma mission became the Mkhoma
Presbytery and, later, the Mkhoma Synod. In 1928 Murray represented
the DRC of South Africa at the International Missionary Council
Jerusalem meeting. In 1937 Murray retired to Worcester in
South Africa where he died.
Andrew C. Ross
M. H. Le Roux and M. M. Le Roux, William Murray of Nyasaland (1958).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.