Respected Free Church minister passes away from coronavirus

Rev John J Murray

Christians have been paying tribute to respected minister and author John J Murray, who died on Wednesday from coronavirus aged 85. 

Rev Murray, from Dornoch, in the north of Scotland, was assistant editor at the Banner of Truth Trust for 13 years, from 1960 to 1973, but worked with the ministry for 45 years. 

He served for many years as a Free Church of Scotland minister in Oban and in Edinburgh, before joining the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) in 2000, and in his latter years was an elder at Knightswood Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) in Glasgow. 

His son, Andrew Murray, wrote on Facebook that his father had initially "shown some progress" in his fight against coronavirus but passed away on April 1 after his condition "deteriorated rapidly" within the space of 24 hours, The Christian Institute reports. 

Andrew wrote movingly that he had been able to read Scripture to his father just before he passed away at Glasgow's Leverndale Hospital. 

"Mum and I were able to spend a few minutes with him before he died and I was able to read the last few verses of Romans 8 which he will now be experiencing in all its fullness with the Saviour he preached about through over 40 years of ministry," he wrote. 

Paying tribute, Sharon James, Social Policy Analyst for The Christian Institute, said: "John J Murray's long and faithful ministry was characterised by a robust God-centred theology, warm devotion to Christ and a tender concern for others.

"Back in the 1960s during the early days of the Banner of Truth Trust, he was part of a young team who were united in a passionate concern to get solid biblical truth out as widely as possible. That passion for the glory of God, the building up of the church, and the extension of the Kingdom to all nations never left him.

"'Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.'"