Michael C. Murphy became the ninth Senior Minister of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in November 2008. The Chicago native was ordained in 1984. He served as the Senior Minister of St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ in Lansing, Michigan for twenty-one years prior to his call to Peoples Church. Rev. Murphy is guided by the call of God to “build strong and committed disciples for Jesus Christ.” It is a vision of ministry which addresses the spiritual needs of his congregation through preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. He has been described first and foremost as a “pastor-preacher.”
Social justice and human rights issues are Rev. Murphy’s passions. He answered the call for public service in 1997, which began with his service on the Lansing City Council. Later, Rev. Murphy was elected and served in the Michigan House of Representatives for three terms, where he was known for his work on safety issues for children. During his tenure, he served on the Appropriations Committee and as the Chairperson of the Black Caucus. In 2006, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators awarded him the President’s Award for his leadership in responding to the need in the Gulf Coast states after Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Murphy received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University and a master’s degree in counseling from Michigan State University. His interest in pastoral care grew out of his studies in counseling, and he later entered the Chicago Theological Seminary and received both a master’s and a doctorate of ministry. Additional theological study was obtained at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC).
Recognitions for service and leadership include an honorary doctorate from UCC-affiliated Olivet College, the CTS Alumni/ae Award in Ministry, and the “Champion of Hope” award for his advocacy for children services. He is a life-member of the N.A.A.C.P. and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Devoted to his family, Rev. Murphy has two children, a son and a daughter who reside in North Carolina and Virginia respectively.
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