Andrew Murray, Jr.
1828 to 1917
Dutch Reformed Church (DRC)
Andrew Murray, Jr. was a South African Dutch
Reformed Church minister, theologian, evangelist, and mission
organizer. He was the second son of Andrew
Murray of Graaff-Reinet; four of his brothers also became
ministers. He was the prime shaper of the piety that came
to characterize the Afrikaner people in the twentieth century.
In 1838 he and his brother John were sent to Aberdeen to be
educated at the grammar school and university. They then went
on to Utrecht, Netherlands, to study theology. Virtually ignoring
their professors, their piety and theology were shaped by
membership in student societies inspired by the Reveil, a
continental revival movement. After ordination at the Hague
in 1848, Murray returned home where he was sent to minister
to the Voortrekkers beyond the Orange and the Vaal Rivers.
For ten years he served this 100,000-square mile parish, befriending
the extremist leaders Potgeiter and Pretorius and aiding them
in negotiating their freedom from the British. In 1856 he
married Emma Rutherford. The next year saw the first of his
250 publications, some of which were the only books in many
Afrikaner homes except for the Bible. He became minister at
Worcester in 1860, Cape Town in 1864, and then Wellington
in 1871, where he stayed until his retirement in 1906.
Murrary's influence on South Africa's Dutch Reformed Church cannot be exaggerated. He was on its initial foreign mission committee and organized and raised funds for its first mission. In 1877 he organized the Mission Training Institute at Wellington. He founded three key organizations: the Ministers Missionary Union, The Bible and Prayer Union, and the Layman's Mission League. He was also an effective evangelist, both in South Africa and abroad. He received honorary degrees from Aberdeen in 1898 and the University of Cape of Good Hope in 1907.
Murrary led a movement that transformed his church from an introverted into a missionary institution, but he also helped to confirm it as the church of the Afrikaner Volk, inadvertently setting it on the path that led to apartheid.
Andrew C. Ross
Murray's two most important books are The Key to the Mission Problem (1901) and The State of the Church (1911). J. du Plessis wrote a massive but now dated biography, The Life of Andrew Murray of South Africa (1919).
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.