Last month, our esteemed friend and brother, Revd John J. Murray, passed away aged 85. He had been in weak health in recent years, and sadly contracted the coronavirus.
John J (as he was known) was born near Dornoch in the Highlands. His family were crofters and lived in a humble home without electricity or running water. What it did have was the gospel, and from an early age John read widely and pursued salvation in Christ.
After conversion he started a magazine called Eternal Truth. Revd Iain Murray later involved John in publication of the Banner of Truth magazine in 1955.
Assisting the Banner’s work from London, John attended the congregation of the Free Church of Scotland located in the city.
John was a gifted speaker and began ministry himself. Returning to Scotland in the 1970s, he was licensed to preach by the Free Church of Scotland and served a congregation in Oban.
When the Free Church of Scotland divided in 2000, John was ministering in Edinburgh and joined the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).
Retiring in 2002, he moved to Glasgow with his wife Cynthia. They had married in 1966 and had three children.
In his final years, John saw modern society as increasingly manifesting what we read in Romans 1. John perceived that beloved Reformation doctrines, formerly the backbone of our nation, were being sidelined by both state and church.
He lamented the trivial diversions of modern news while the best news of the Saviour and his gospel was neglected.
I owe a great debt to John’s life and ministry. Through him I came to love reformed doctrine and Puritan worship.
I offer condolences to his bereaved family and the comforting truth that our deceased brother is now in glory with the Saviour.