Pastor Paul Murray was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus on June 6, 2023. Those who knew Pastor Paul know there was joy in heaven upon his arrival. No doubt he is telling stories and making even the most stoic saints cry with laughter.
Paul was born on March 27, 1939 in Chicago, IL to John Buren Murray and Ruth (Homoky) Murray. When he was 4 years old, Paul’s family moved to South Bend, IN. As a boy, Paul loved buses, and at the age of 12 he asked his mother if he could ride the big bus on Sunday mornings to South Bend Gospel Tabernacle. That church bus changed his life. Paul asked Jesus into his heart in Sunday School class and devoted the rest of his life to serving the Lord through ministry, including 10 years as an associate pastor at Calvary Temple, now Southgate.
Paul graduated from Riley High School in 1957 and from Central Bible College in Springfield, MO in 1961. He and Esther Uldin were married on August 25, 1962. Paul and Esther had two children, Jon and Rachelle. Paul loved his family and enjoyed camping with them as the kids were growing up. Two of his favorite places to camp in their popup camper were Warren Dunes and Pentwater, MI. He had fond memories of a camping trip to New York City. Paul loved entertaining friends, family and most of all his grandchildren at their permanent campsite at Yogi Bear’s in Pierceton, IN.
Paul became an ordained minister at the age of 23 and became an evangelist and pastor. For 22 years he pastored churches in Newell and Rapid City South Dakota, Elkhart and LaPorte, Indiana. While pastoring in South Dakota, Pastor Paul was the state youth director for the District Assemblies of God churches and was in charge of monthly youth rallies, annual camps and conventions. Eventually, he and his family returned to South Bend in 1985 where he was an associate pastor at Calvary Temple until 1993. There, Pastor Paul became the driver of the big buses he admired as a child, taking senior adults on trips and to programs around the country. In 1993 Pastor Paul left the church pastorate to become a full time missionary evangelist. While his travel slowed in the last several years, his work encouraging and loving people, prayer, intercession and bible study never ended.
Pastor Paul’s missionary and evangelist work included travels to Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, China, Honduras, Argentina, Venezuela, Israel and Hong Kong. In the U.S. he worked with Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona. For several years Pastor Paul shared the gospel at the St. Joseph County Fair as a Circuit Riding Preacher. He was the entertainment at countless banquets, conventions, parties, retreats, camps and nursing homes, sharing stories and jokes that both ministered to the heart and made audiences roar with laughter.
Paul loved Southern Gospel music. He was the manager and bass singer for the River Valley Quartet of South Bend for 17 years. The quartet made two trips to Latvia, ministering in orphanages, prisons and churches. In the U.S. they sang at conventions, churches, senior adult gatherings and banquets.
Paul is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Esther (Uldin) Murray and children Jon Murray (Amy) of Escondido, CA and Rachelle Hillebrand of South Bend, IN. He loved time with his 5 grandchildren Alex Hillebrand, Rebekah Murray, Audrey Murray, Jon Luke Murray and Andrew Murray. He is also survived by his dear brother Patrick Murray and cherished sister Ann Graham (Tom), nephews Tom Murray (Kelly) and Larry Nash (Laura) and niece Kelli Nash.
Services celebrating the life of Rev. Paul Murray will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at Southgate Church, 3717 South Michigan St., South Bend. Graveside services and burial will follow at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger. The family will receive friends from 3:00 -7:00 p.m. Friday, and one hour prior to the service Saturday at the Church. Contributions in memory of Rev. Murray may be offered to Southgate Church, or to Heart to Heart Hospice, 620 West Edison Rd #122, Mishawaka, IN 46545.
Arrangements for the Murray family are under the care of the Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, South Bend.
3717 S. Michigan Street, South Bend IN 46614
Heart to Heart Hospice
620 W. Edison Road #122, Mishawaka IN 46545