Homepage
Home Read stories Africa maps The Project Resources Our Writers News

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


Bibliography:

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.