Stellenbosch Theological Journal 2022, Vol 8, No 3, 75–101


Online ISSN 2226-2385 | Print ISSN 0028-2006

2022 © Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust

The role and influence of Andrew Murray Jr in missions within the Dutch Reformed Church and in wider context

Martin Pauw

Emeritus Professor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


When assessing Andrew Murray Jr’s role in missions, it should be done in the light of various factors, such as the particular spiritual and evangelical background of Scottish ministers who came to South Africa in the 1820s, the influence of Andrew Murray Sr on his children and descendants, also, regarding missions, a growing missionary awareness in the Dutch Reformed Church, and the advent of Societal Missions.

The life and ministry of Andrew Murray Jr within the church and in the wider Christian community demonstrates the significance of the multifaceted role he played. This included his leading role in promoting missionary awareness and involvement within the church, establishing societies such as the Women’s Mission Society and the Ministers’ Mission Union, developing missionary training facilities for women and men, maintaining an ecumenical openness, initiatives in extending missions into various other parts of Africa and, added to all this, his extensive literary contribution, much of which was aimed at promoting the cause of mission, coupled to a growing emphasis on the importance of prayer and personal devotion.


Mission; evangelical; training institutions; ecumenical, prayer; literature; Ministers Mission Union


An assessment of the role and influence of Andrew Murray Jr with regard to furthering the cause of Christian missions cannot be fully appreciated without considering his background as the son of a Scottish minister, Andrew Murray Sr. The formational influence of this home upon Andrew Jr as well as upon his large number of siblings can clearly be seen in their religious and spiritual predisposition as well as in the fact that almost all of them became involved in the ministry within the DRC1. This enabled them to play a definitive role in the church, also with regards to mission.

Formative influences on Andrew Murray Jr’s vision for mission

Scottish influence on the DRC’s mission initiatives

After the Cape came under British control, the Colonial Government invited Scottish Presbyterian ministers to serve in the DRC. Their arrival during the 1820s impacted significantly on the Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape with its Dutch brand of Calvinism by introducing a fresh form of spirituality, an evangelical emphasis and an element of what might be called a healthy pietism. Coupled to this, missionary awareness was stimulated and promoted in the church. Here the name of the Murray family deserves particular mention. Andrew Murray Sr (1794–1866) was part of one of the first groups of ministers to arrive in Cape Town on 1 July 1822, never to return to his birth country. Most of these ministers, including the Murrays, were part of the Evangelical Group of the Church of Scotland and belonged to the “Old Light Presbyterians” or Auld Lichts, a particularly sincere and devout section of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. When Andrew Murray’s elder brother, John, also a minister, left the Church of Scotland to join what became the Free Church of Scotland at the Disruption of 1843, it made a very deep impression not only on the Murrays in South Africa but also on the other Scottish ministers (Pauw 2016:3; Hofmeyr 2008:1014-1015). During this time, Andrew Murray Sr moreover sent his two eldest sons, John, and Andrew Jr, to his brother John in Aberdeen to study. The seven years they spent there, meant that they could directly experience what was taking place within the ecclesiastical sphere.

The links with the Free Church of Scotland were later taken up again by another Murray, Andrew Charles, grandson of the first Andrew Murray, when he studied in Scotland in 1887 prior to his departure for Nyasaland (today Malawi). He had formerly been in contact with the Foreign Mission Committee of the Free Church of Scotland and was extended a cordial welcome to him and the DRC to come and start a mission enterprise in the regions of Lake Nyasa, adjacent to the area where they had established themselves after coming to Malawi in 1875 (A.C. Murray 1897:15). This development will be dealt with in more detail later in this article.

The Scottish link subsequently also facilitated the church union process in Malawi, which was concluded during the years 1924–1926 between the presbyteries of Livingstonia (which grew out of the Free Church of Scotland Mission), Blantyre (out of the Church of Scotland Mission) and Nkhoma (out of the Dutch Reformed Church Mission). The formation of the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian, was regarded by many as one of the most remarkable ecclesiastical achievements of its time.2

“Societal mission” and the DRC’s growing missionary awareness

The 18th and particularly the 19th century can largely be described as the century of societal mission. In South Africa, an early forerunner was Georg Schmidt of the Moravian Missionary Society, who arrived in 1737 and established the Genadendal Mission near the present-day town of Caledon (Du Plessis 1911:50-60; Krüger 1966). Schmidt’s seven years’ endeavours initially had little impact on the church in the Cape. However, it became the forerunner of a new fervour for mission in Europe and, more particularly, in England, aroused by the challenge and impact of William Carey’s mission to India in 1793. This led to the formation of numerous missionary societies. Many of these societies also extended their activities to the Cape, beginning with the London Missionary Society (1799), the Netherlands (Rotterdam) Missionary Society (1799), Wesleyan Missionary Society (1816), Glasgow Missionary Society (1824), the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (1829), the Rhenish Missionary Society (1828) and the Berlin Missionary Society (1834).3

This followed upon and partly coincided with an awakening of missionary awareness in the Dutch Reformed Church itself, particularly inspired by men such as Revs. H.R. van Lier who ministered from 1786 to 1793, and the South African born M.C. Vos, who ministered from 1794 to 1818 (Du Plessis 1911:60-69). Contact with the various missionary societies arriving in the country served to quicken this missionary awareness further. This began with the arrival of Dr J.T. van der Kemp of the London Missionary Society in 1799 and his appeal to Christians and congregations at the Cape to join hands in propagating the Gospel amongst enslaved and indigenous people. In that same year, the South African Missionary Society [SAMS] was established. It was originally called De Zuid-Afrikaansche Genootschap ter bevordering van Christus Ryk, later the ZA Sendinggenootschap [ZASG, eventually SASG]. Its first church building was the SA Sendinggestig, inaugurated in 1804 in Long Street, Cape Town, initially as a place of worship for freed slaves and others. The aim of the SAMS included the formation of auxiliary (meewerkende) mission societies in individual congregations, which spread missionary enthusiasm even more widely and promoted co-operation with the various mission societies (Crafford 1982:17–34).

Until the beginning of the 19th century, the Dutch-speaking church in the Cape still formed part of the Dutch Church in the Netherlands, more particularly of the Classis (Presbytery) of Amsterdam. The advent of British rule at the Cape opened the way for the Cape Church to become more independent. The first DRC synod was constituted in 1824, and in 1827 it called and ordained its first missionary in Clanwilliam, the Reverend Leopold Marquard.4

These developments coincided with the arrival of the Scottish ministers in the 1820s. The evangelical spirit and concern for revival and mission that motivated the likes of Andrew Murray Sr further enhanced a missionary awareness.

Parental influences during his formative years:

Graaff-Reinet to Aberdeen and Utrecht

When Andrew Murray Sr arrived in the Cape, he was seconded to the DRC congregation at Graaff-Reinet where he served for the entire course of his ministry (1822–1865). He married Maria Stegmann. She was of French Huguenot and of German descent and was a sister of Rev. Georg Stegmann, an ordained Lutheran and later DRC missionary.

The Murray home was imbued with a strong devotional as well as a missionary and a revivalist spirit. Many a passing missionary availed themselves of the hospitality of this home, including David Livingstone. It is, therefore, not surprising that of the eleven children born to Andrew and Maria who reached adulthood, five sons became ministers in the Dutch Reformed Church, while four daughters married DRC ministers. A large number of the children and grandchildren born from these homes entered missionary service, both within South Africa and further away, as far afield as Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique5 and elsewhere. Later descendants continue to do so.6

Andrew Jr was born in Graaff-Reinet on 9th May 1828, and studied in Scotland between 1838 and 1845, where he and his brother John attained master’s degrees at Marischal College, Aberdeen. After that, they studied theology for three years at Utrecht in the Netherlands. The fervour for revival experienced in their parental home also affected the two brothers. In Scotland, they got to know the revivalist William Burns, who made a deep impression on Andrew Jr. While in Utrecht, they also learned of a revival meeting in Mottlingen, Germany led by Johann Blumhart and travelled to Germany to meet him. Furthermore, they became members of Het Réveil, a religious revival movement opposed to the rationalism in vogue in the Netherlands at that time.

Youthful minister and evangelist in the Trans-Gariep and beyond

On Andrew’s twentieth birthday, 9th May 1848, they were ordained by the Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands and returned to the Cape.7 The older brother, John, first served in Burgersdorp DRC congregation. When the DRC Theological Seminary was established in Stellenbosch in 1859, he was appointed as one of the first two professors and taught there until his death in 1882.

The younger Andrew initially set off on an evangelistic preaching tour. In the following year, 1849, he was inducted by his father to become the first minister for the entire Trans-Gariep, as the Orange River was also known. He was based in Bloemfontein in the Orange River Colony, but his ministry also took him into what was known as Natal and the Transvaal. From 1860 he served in Worcester DRC, from 1864 in Cape Town DRC and finally from 1871 for 35 years in the DRC congregation of Wellington. He retired in 1906 and died on 18th January 1917.

While in Bloemfontein, he married Emma Rutherford8 (1835–1905), daughter of an Anglican businessman in Cape Town (Du Plessis 1919:168). In due course, eleven children were born from this marriage. Of them, at least five were directly involved in missionary work, as were many more of the following generations (cf. Appendix to this article).

Andrew Murray Jr was destined to play an outstanding and unique role in the DRC (Sass, 1956:119) and is to this day undoubtedly one of the best-known South African clergymen worldwide. Amongst others, he is remembered for his role in promoting the cause of mission. Murray considered missions to be the chief end of the church. During his long career as a minister, he constantly sought to express and define this view, outlining the place of mission in the life and work of the church and believers. This he achieved through the prominent leadership role he played in the DRC within which his spiritual and intellectual influence had a strong impact (Müller 2018:72), as well as through a variety of initiatives that were directly or indirectly aimed at promoting the cause of mission. These included providing guidance and motivation to the church in fulfilling its missionary calling, establishing training facilities for both lay and ordained workers (particularly in order to prepare women and men for mission work), cultivating a missionary awareness and commitment through conferences, advocating spiritual renewal and last but not least, through producing a vast amount of literature. Crafford (1982:107) called him a mission strategist par excellence. J. du Plessis concluded his book on the life of Andrew Murray with two profound tributes to this most eminent churchman, one written by the Rev. G.S. Malan, Editor of De Kerkbode (written posthumously) and the other written shortly before his death by Professor J.I. Marais of the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary (Du Plessis, 1919:513–516). For his contribution to world missions Andrew Murray Jr was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Aberdeen (1898) and by the University of the Cape of Good Hope (1907).

Murray’s contribution: Facilitator and promotor of local and foreign mission

Murray’s influential leadership role in the church was evident. Between 1862 and 1897, he was repeatedly elected as Moderator of the DRC Synod in the Cape and held this position until he was in his 70th year. He furthermore served as a member and mostly chairperson of the Cape DRC Mission Board or Committee for almost 50 years from 1857 to 1906 (Du Plessis, 1919:53f, 373f). He was directly involved in initiating and establishing DRC missionary activities north of the Gariep in the Transvaal and Botswana and subsequently further into Africa, far beyond the borders of South Africa.9

The Synod of 1857 appointed Murray and others to a new Committee for Mission. Its task was to rekindle missionary fervour, extend the scope of mission beyond the boundaries of the Cape, raise funds and recruit mission workers. One outcome of this appointment was that Rev. William Robertson was delegated in 1860 to recruit ministers, missionaries, and teachers from various countries in Europe. A further consequence of these initiatives was the establishment of a Foreign Mission Committee, which later became the General Mission Committee of the Cape DRC.

The first enterprise of “foreign mission” was launched when two of Robertson’s missionary recruits, Henri Gonin from Switzerland, and Alexander McKidd from Scotland, arrived in South Africa in 1861. This made it possible to expand DRC mission activities beyond the boundaries of the Cape and commence mission work in the Transvaal with McKidd going to the Soutpansberg area in the north and Gonin to Saulspoort in the west. Murray accompanied them to negotiate with government representatives of Paul Kruger’s South African Republic to obtain their approval (Pauw 2016:5; Crafford 1982:62ff, 76ff). In 1877 the work at Saulspoort extended into Botswana when Mochudi Mission was established.

Meanwhile, from 1860 onwards, Murray was involved in a series of Christian conferences in various congregations in the Cape. This was prompted by a spirit of revival that was first sparked by a spontaneous revival outbreak at Worcester shortly after Murray arrived there in 1860. This developed into an ongoing revival movement that spread to many DRC congregations and reached its peak during the years 1884–1885. One of the effects of this movement was a heightened missionary awareness and a growing interest in mission in many DRC congregations. In July 1885, following another visit to the Transvaal missions, Murray addressed a Minister’s fraternal of the Presbytery of Tulbagh. Two months later, he also addressed a minister’s conference in Cradock. He urged the DRC to look for a new field beyond the boundaries of the Transvaal. In order to facilitate this, he put forward the idea of forming a Predikanten Zendingvereeniging (Minister’s Mission Union). It was agreed to raise the matter of a Minister’s Mission Union [MMU]10 at the next Synod of the DRC (Pauw 2016:13).

Murray’s evangelical, revivalist, and anti-modernistic stance (Müller 2017:260), coupled with his missionary fervour, was furthermore augmented by a strong ecumenical openness. He was involved in a series of ecumenical conferences in which various mission societies and churches were invited to participate. In this way, an early form of ecumenical unity was forged. These conferences eventually paved the way for what was to become the South African Council of Churches. This ecumenical openness also made it possible for Murray to work closely with various missionary societies. Apart from the South African Mission Society, these included the Paris, Moravian, Rhenish, Berlin, London Missionary Societies, and others. In 1894 he was furthermore involved in forming a new society, the South Africa General Mission [SAGM] and became its first president. He served in this capacity until his death. The SAGM worked in the Cape, Natal, Gazaland (Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe), Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia, Angola and Kenya.11 After Murray’s death, the Angolan work was given the name of Andrew Murray Memorial Mission. Today the church which grew out of this work forms part of the UIEA – Uniao de Igrejas Evangelicas de Angola (cf. Henderson 1992).

Founder of educational and training facilities - for men and women

For Andrew Murray, quality secondary education for both boys and girls and subsequently tertiary training for women and men was a matter of great concern. During his tenure in Bloemfontein, he was already involved in the establishment of Grey College which was to provide secondary education for boys. Later, he also participated in the establishment of other secondary institutions. Shortly after arriving in Wellington, he initiated procedures towards establishing the first of several post-secondary training institutions.

The Huguenot Seminary for young women in Wellington, 1874

This Seminary was the outcome of a letter Murray wrote to the principal of the Mt Holyoke Seminary in the USA in December 1872 requesting teachers to train women as teachers and spiritual workers to serve both in DRC congregations and in missions. He was convinced that the Mt Holyoke System, developed by Mary Lyon in Massachusetts, provided an ideal model. In response to his letter, two graduates from Mt Holyoke arrived in South Africa in November 1873. They were Abbie Ferguson and Anna Bliss. The Seminary was officially opened in January 1874, and the two women began what was to become their lifework.

Abbie Ferguson, in particular, was actively involved in promoting missionary enthusiasm.12 Each Monday morning they conducted a mission meeting with the students, sharing information on and praying for missionaries. In April 1878, inspired by the report of the Woman’s Board of Missions in Amerika – and after consulting and praying with Emma and Andrew Murray – the Huguenot Mission Society for the students and mission supporters. Soon their “informal letter”, the Mission News Letter, became an important way to share the information on missions and in 1886 Andrew Murray suggested the publication of a Dutch translation, De Zending Bode. In 1889 the growing interest in mission work resulted in members of the Huguenot Mission Society and other mission supporters founding the Vrouwen Zending Bond [VSB or Women’s Mission Union]13, with Emma Murray as its first president.14 Andrew Murray Jr actively encouraged and supported this initiative. Emma served as president until her death in 1905. The aim of this society was to care for women missionary workers and provide financial and moral support. In due course, branches were established in nearly all congregations of the DRC. For more than sixty years, the VSB was a mainstay within the DRC, providing support for mission work and, in particular, for women missionaries in all the countries where the DRC was involved. The first person to be sent out by the VSB was Martha Murray (not related), who arrived in Malawi in 1893.15

The Huguenot Seminary later became the Huguenot College (1898) and later the Huguenot University, College (1908). In 1951 it once more became the Huguenot College. Subsequently, in liaison with the University of South Africa, graduates were granted degrees from UNISA. The former seminary building known as Friedenheim was retained as a student residence (Du Toit 2008:357, 477).

The Missionary Institute in Wellington, 1877

Andrew Murray, whom Dreyer called the “father of the Institute” (1927:56), spearheaded its establishment in 1877. The purpose of the Institute was to train future ministers and initially teachers for mission work (Du Plessis 1919:293). Initially, buildings were rented, but in 1883 a new building, given the symbolic name of Samuel, was inaugurated.16

In 1877 Murray obtained the services of a Presbyterian minister from the USA, Rev. George Ferguson, as the first full-time lecturer. He was the brother of Abby Ferguson. A year later, he was joined by Rev. Jacobus Cornelis Pauw, one of the missionaries recruited from Holland in 1860 by William Robertson. Pauw arrived in South Africa in 1861 and first served at Zoar and Zuurbraak Missions. In 1878, encouraged by Murray, he accepted a call to succeed Rev. Isaac Bisseux of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Wellington. Upon Murray’s request, he also agreed to take up the post of lecturer at the Institute. He served in this capacity for more than 34 years. From time to time, he also taught at the Huguenot Seminary.17

For a quarter of a century, the Institute was developed, administered, and funded by private funds through a local committee under Murray’s leadership and with generous support from the DRC congregation of Wellington. In 1903 the Cape DRC Synod took over this responsibility. By the time the Institute finally closed its doors in 1962, a total of 566 mission ministers had graduated from it.18 They rendered service within South Africa as well as in many other countries across the continent of Africa. After 1962 the training of ministers for mission and cross-cultural ministry was amalgamated with the training programmes at the other Theological training institutions of the DRC (Pauw 2008:980).

In February 2019, the Samuel Campus was inaugurated as a spiritual retreat centre and named the Andrew Murray Centre for Spirituality.

The Training Institute, Worcester

“Het Drostdy Boeren Zending Instituut” for returning POW volunteers for mission was established in 1903. It came about when Murray liaised with Rev. A.F. Louw, son of Murray’s sister, Jemima. Louw had just returned from the island of St Helena, where he had served as a chaplain in the British Prisoner of War camps during the Anglo Boer War of 1899–1902.19 In these as well as other POW20 camps within South Africa and elsewhere in the world, several revivals had broken out. These revivals resulted in 175 returning Boer Prisoners of War volunteering for mission work (cf. Kok, 1971). The Institute at Worcester was set up to provide some basic training and orientation in order for them to enter into lay missionary service. Others went on to study at Stellenbosch or Wellington and were ordained.21 The training program ended in 1911.

Visionary promotor of missionary expansion beyond the South African borders

Founding of the “Predikanten Zendingvereeniging” or Ministers’ Mission Union (MMU)

Reference has already been made to plans to establish a MMU22 to raise funds to support a “foreign” mission enterprise. The matter was to be raised at the Synod due to meet in November 1886. But in November 1884, a group of theological students at the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary took the initiative to form a Students’ Mission Union to arouse interest and acquaint students with missions. The first secretary was A.C. Murray, a son of Andrew Murray’s brother Charles, then minister in Graaff-Reinet. In March 1885, a similar Union was formed at the Missionary Training Institute at Wellington. The Students’ Mission Union at Stellenbosch went on to contact representatives of the Free Church of Scotland. In due course, this resulted in a tentative invitation from the Foreign Mission Committee of the Free Church to the DRC to work with the mission that had been established in Malawi in 1875. A.C. Murray even indicated that he would be prepared to serve under the Free Church Foreign Mission Committee. In September 1886, after completing his studies at Stellenbosch, he left for Edinburgh for an eighteen-month course in tropical medicine, after which he was hoping to go to Malawi (Pauw 2016:13f).

Thus, when the DRC Synod convened two months later, and the proposed Ministers’ Mission Union was founded, the initiatives of the students and, in particular of A.C. Murray, became decisive factors. Andrew Murray was elected chairman of the MMU. A possible field was discussed. In a circular sent out two weeks later, Malawi was a definite proposition. In July 1887, the MMU Committee met again and before them was a letter from A.C. Murray offering to be sent to Malawi. In a lengthy circular signed by Andrew Murray and the MMU secretary, Rev. G.F. Marais, the “remarkable opening” of an opportunity to extend mission work into Malawi was outlined. Members were encouraged to express support for this option.23Every member would be asked to contribute ten pounds per annum. A positive response was practically unanimous, and when Andrew Murray laid this before the DRC Foreign Missions Committee in November 1887, the response was equally positive, albeit on certain conditions. These conditions specifically included that the MMU would be responsible for funding the enterprise.

Sending the first missionary across the South African border

Early in 1888, A.C. Murray returned to South Africa and was ordained in his father’s church in Graaff-Reinet in May 1888. On 4th June, he left Cape Town by boat for Malawi. Travelling up the east coast to the mouth of the Zambezi and then by riverboats up the Zambezi and Shire rivers and onwards overland on foot, the journey lasted two months before the last lap on Lake Malawi aboard the Ilala brought him to the FCS Mission of Bandawe in the north of Malawi.24 The following year an alumnus of the Training Institute at Wellington, T.C.B. Vlok, joined him, and they subsequently established Mvera Mission in the Central Region of Malawi. This was the beginning of what became one of the largest foreign mission enterprises of the DRC (Pauw 2016:14–28). For Andrew Murray, this was an important milestone and cause for much joy. The MMU was to continue providing financial support for the work in Malawi for fourteen years, after which it was fully taken over by the Mission Board of the Cape DRC Synod.

Although work had already begun in Botswana in 1877, it was the precedent set by the mission to Malawi that more particularly led to initiating further DRC missionary enterprises in other parts of Africa and elsewhere. This included Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Kenya, and Namibia, with smaller missions in Sri Lanka and later in Madagascar and Japan.25As has already been noted, Andrew Murray Jr was directly or indirectly involved in initiating work in all the earlier enterprises as well as in Angola.

Author of significant missional and devotional publications

Murray’s most important and lasting contribution, also towards furthering the cause of mission, came through his many writings. Apart from keeping up extensive personal and official correspondence and regular contributions to church magazines and drawing up church reports, he produced a long list of tracts, articles, and books. An internet search for his books reveals the extent of his writings and will show how many of these titles are still being re-printed, particularly internationally. The biography of Andrew Murray by Du Plessis (1919:526–536) contains an “Appendix B” by D.S.B. Joubert with a bibliography of Andrew Murray’s published works, chronologically arranged. At least 240 titles were published between 1858 and 1917, as well as numerous post humous publications, many of them of devotional nature. Apart from English and Dutch, several titles were also translated and published in other languages, totalling at least 15 languages (Du Plessis 1919:534f).

Murrays classic work, The Key to the Missionary Problem, (1901:204 pages) and in Dutch: De Sleutel van ‘t Vraagstuk der Zending (n.d.:242 pages) was seminal for promoting his understanding of mission. It was written in response to the 1900 Ecumenical Missionary Conference in New York.

While it is not the purpose of this article to comprehensively select and list Murray’s most important publications, mention should at least be made of books such as Abide in Christ (1882:223 pages); The Spirit of Christ (1888: 394 pages – notably the “Sixteenth Day” which deals with “The Holy Spirit and Missions”); The School of Obedience (1898:126 pages); Working for God (1901:161 pages) and in Dutch Voor God Werken (1902:158 pages); as well as a variety of books and pamphlets on prayer and the importance of prayer also in respect of mission. These included De School des Gebeds (1884:253 pages); With Christ in the School of Prayer (1885:274 pages); Ziende op Jesus (1893:542 pages); Thy Will be Done (1900:196 pages); De Kracht des Gebeds (new Edition 1904:119 pages) and The Inner Chamber (1905:173 pages).


In 2022 it will be 200 years since the arrival of Andrew Murray Sr in South Africa and a little over 100 years since Andrew Murray Jr passed away in 1917. As the Andrew Murray Family Association prepares for a bi-centennial family celebration, the role and influence of the Murray family, and in particular of Andrew Murray Jr, also in so far as mission is concerned, most certainly deserves a place in this celebration. This article has outlined the lasting legacy of Andrew Murray Jr regarding mission as demonstrated in the leading role he played in the DRC, his missionary zeal as a strategic visionary, the establishment of missionary training institutions for women and men, his influential literary contribution and his active involvement and interest in missionary activities within the DRC as well as at a broader level. This legacy was most certainly also a factor in inspiring such a large number of descendants of the original Murray family to enter into missionary service, even up until the fifth generation (demonstrated in the appendix of this article).

However, an intriguing question remains, one that would require research of a different nature. This would entail exploring the extent to which the spirituality of Andrew Murray Sr, but more particularly of Andrew Murray Jr, coupled to his intellectuality and academic self-discipline, his spirit of evangelicalism, revivalism, and pietism, left a discernible impact on the spirituality as well as on the nature and quality of the life and work of Murray descendants in mission.


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Retief, M.W. 1958. William Murray of Nyasaland. Lovedale: The Lovedale Press.

Sass, F.W. 1956. The influence of the Church of Scotland on the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.

Van der Merwe, W.J. 1936. The development of missionary attitudes in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. Ph.D. thesis, Cape Town: Nasionale Pers (Ph.D., Hartford, 1934).


Descendants of Andrew Murray Sr and Maria Susanna Stegmann Murray involved in mission

The appendix contains the names of over 80 Murray descendants who, at some stage or other, were directly involved in missions or in cross-cultural ministry.26


First professor in the Theological Seminary, Stellenbosch 1859

c12 Jane Georgina Murray, married Rev. Petrus van der Merwe, one-time Secretary for Mission in the Synod of the Orange Free State, responsible for work in Zambia.


c1 Emma (Emmie) Maria Murray Jr, served as a missionary in South Africa under the Salvation Army and at the Magdalena Home for unmarried and dissolute women.

c2 Mary Ellen Murray, served as a mission teacher in the Waterberg and at Saulspoort (Transvaal), thereafter Mochudi (Botswana).

c3 Catherine (Kitty) Margaret Murray, was principal of the Bethlehem Huguenot Seminary for Women and subsequently taught at the Midlands Seminary, Graaff Reinet.

c8 John Neethling Murray (ordained), missionary in the Waterberg, Transvaal.

d2 Paul Milne Murray (ordained), served at Mochudi, Botswana.

c11 Charles Hugo Murray (ordained), Malawi 1901–1906, Mochudi, Botswana, 1916–1921.


c8 William Hoppe Murray (ordained), Malawi 1894–1937. Served for many years as Head of the Mission Council and is particularly remembered for what he himself called his life work, namely translating and again revising the Bible in Chinyanja/Chichewa (1900–1936).

d1 Paulina (Pauline) Versfeld Murray, medical doctor in Malawi and later married JL Pretorius.

c9 John Murray, minister in the DRC.

d8 Christopher Murray (ordained), served as missionary in the East Rand.


Six of his children, two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter served in Malawi.

c1 Andrew Charles (AC) Murray (ordained), pioneer in Malawi (1888–1900). Subsequently (1910–1928) he served as secretary of the General Missions Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church, Cape Synod. He succeeded J. du Plessis, who also played a very important role in publicising and promoting missions (cf. Du Plessis, 1917).

d1 Charles Leonard (Leon) Lautre Murray, medical doctor, Malawi.

e1 Elsabe Adele Armstrong Murray, married Dr Kenneth Irvine, medical doctor at Ekwendeni, Livingstonia Mission, Malawi

d3 Jeanette Fanny Lautre Murray, medical doctor, Malawi.

c5 Amelia Jane (Amy) Murray, Malawi.

c8 William Ansley Murray, medical doctor, Malawi.

c10 James Stegmann Murray (ordained), Malawi and later DRC Worcester.

c12 Isabel (Isa) Bailie Murray, Malawi.

c13 George de Coligny Murray (ordained), Malawi, later initiated mission work in the Transkei (Eastern Cape). Decoligny Mission near Umtata named after him.


c1 Andrew George Murray (ordained), Malawi; pioneered mission work in Mozambique (Mphatso Mission) 1908–1923.

d5 William (Bill) Carey Murray, missionary teacher Nyasaland and later Betesda, Pietersburg.

e4 Jeanne Reneé Murray, married Christopher le Roy Agenbag (ordained), missionary Transkei, Mosambique and Zambia.

c3 Charlotte (Lottie) Louise Murray, married M.S. Daneel, minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.

d2 Alexander (Alec) Daneel, Treasurer, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

e1 Nyasa Elize Daneel, married Rev. B.H. Groenewald, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

f? Hendrik Siebert Napoleon Groenewald, missionary and Bible translator in Peru.

e2 Marthinus (Inus) Louis Daneel (ordained), Zimbabwe.

e3 Charlotte Winifred Daneel, Zimbabwe.

d3 George Murray Daneel (ordained), US, UK, Europe.

d7 Marthinus Smuts Daneel (ordained), Malawi and Zimbabwe.

e2 Marthinus (Thinus) Hugo Daneel (ordained), Malawi.

c4 George Stegmann Murray (ordained), Zimbabwe (Gutu Mission)1906–1942.

c5 Louis John Murray (ordained), Malawi. His first wife and two children and later he himself (death 1925) are buried at Malembo Mission station on the Lake Shore. Remarried twice. His third wife was Hester (Hettie) Meiring. Their daughter –

d5 Hester Noeline Elizabeth Murray, nurse, Malawi 1921–1947.

c8 Henry William Murray (ordained), Zimbabwe 1910–1948.

d2 George Muller Murray (ordained), Zimbabwe 1945–1985.

e1 Henry William Murray (ordained), Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (Phororo Synod), Malawi, Zimbabwe (lecturer at Morgenster Theological College).

f1 Cecile Murray, married. Rev. Andries A. Louw (see B4 JEMIMA c7d2e5f1). Cecile was ordained as DRC minister in 2022 to become the sixth minister in direct line of descent from A Murray Sr.

c9 Helen Murray, married Rev J.A. (Kotie) Retief, Malawi.

d1 Louise Retief, nurse, married Rev G.F. Hugo, Malawi.

e2 Helen Hugo, nurse (married to John van Aarde Meyer, medical doctor), Malawi, Mozambique. Helen later served as medical nurse in Malawi and Mozambique.

d5 Charlotte Retief, nurse, later married Rev A.S. Labuschagne, Malawi.

d9 Helen Retief, married. Rev. C.J. Burger, Malawi.

e1 Marguerite Burger married Theodor (Teyo) Sterrenberg Smit (ordained). Served in Uniting Ref. Church in SA, Barrydale.

c10 Margaret (Maggie) Murray married Reginald Barry, lawyer, son of Rev. R. v. R. Barry.

d8 Andrew Thomas Barry (ordained), Mochudi & Gaborone, Botswana.

c12 Elizabeth (Elize) Murray, married Rev. Johannes Reyneke (see B4 JEMIMA d2).


Married Rev. Johannes (Jan) Henoch NEETHLING, served in Stellenbosch for 46 years; Stellenbosch congregation undertook to fully support A.A. Louw and others in Mashonaland.

c3 Maria (Minnie) Susanna Neethling, married Rev. Henri Gonin, served at Saulspoort, Transvaal.

c8 William (Willie) James Neethling (ordained), 1896 Mochudi, Botswana, died tragically in an accident a year later.


Married Rev. Andries Adriaan LOUW.

c1 Maria Johanna (Mimie) Louw married Rev. Pieter Francios Hugo, deceased.

Second marriage to Jacobus Cornelius (Koos) Reyneke.

d2 Johannes (Johan) Reyneke (ordained), married Elizabeth Murray, (see B12 GEORGE c12), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mission Secretary, DRC Transvaal, Bosman Street DRC congregation, Pretoria.

e1 Jacobus (Kobie) Reyneke (ordained), Mochudi, Saulspoort, Bible Translator.

f3 Jacoba Reyneke, married James Murray Louw, grandson of JM (Jimmy) Louw (see B7 JEMIMA d7e2).

f4 Jacobus Louw Reyneke (ordained), became secretary, Turfloop Theological. College, Northern Transvaal

e2 George Cradock Reyneke, Mission & Synod Treasurer, Malawi.

c4 Andries Adriaan (AA) Louw (ordained in1921), married Cinie Malan. Pioneered work at Morgenster, Zimbabwe 1891–1937. Several of his children and grandchildren continued to serve in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, and some great-grandchildren still live in Zimbabwe.

d1 Andries Adriaan (Andre) Louw (ordained), Morgenster, Zimbabwe.

d2 Anna (Annie) Magdalena Louw, married Dr Tommie Steyn, (med.) Morgenster, Zimbabwe.

e2 Cinie M Steyn, married Rev. J.N.F. O’Kennedy, Transkei Mission, Eastern Cape.

d4 Jemima (Mima) Louw, married Rev. Malcolm Wilhelm Retief, Zambia 1930–1934.

e2 Francina (Fransie) Susanna Retief, married. Rev. W.F. Louw, Sibasa and Nthume Mission (East Transvaal), Synodical Administrator for Mission and Evangelism, DRC Synod of East Transvaal.

d5 Esther (Ettie) Malan Louw, married Coenraad Brand, teacher and, together with her husband, translators of the Shona Bible, Morgenster, Zimbabwe.

e2 Andries (André) Louw Brand, married Bineke Beens, O. 1965, Que-Que, Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. Both killed in an ambush during the Rhodesian bush war, 1977.

e3 Coenraad (Coenie) Marius Brand University Lecturer in Zimbabwe and in Christian Colleges; involved in Christian Student work.

e4 Estelle (Stella) Malan Brand, married Rev. W.J.E. (Jurie) Wessels, Mashonaland, Zimbabwe.

d6 Bettie Louw, married Dr Tommie Steyn after death of Annie, Zimbabwe.

e4 Theodorus (Theo) M. Steyn, Educationalist, Morgenster, Zimbabwe

e5 Marthinus H. Steyn, Educationalist, Morgenster, Zimbabwe.

c6 Abraham Faure (Affie) Louw, served as chaplain in British POW camps on St Helena during the Anglo-Boer War of 1900–1902. In liaison with Andrew Murray Jn, he established the training centre (Het Drostdy Boeren Zending Instituut) in Worcester for returning Boer POWs who had volunteered for mission work. Subsequently he served in Stellenbosch DRC congregation.

d1 Magaretha Hofmeyr Louw, Secondary School teacher, Malawi.

d2 Abraham Faure Louw (ordained), ministered in DRC Zimbabwe.

e1 Abraham Faure Louw (ordained), served at Tshilidzini, DRCA.

d3 Johan Kriel Louw, educationalist and noted Chi-Chewa linguist, CCAP Malawi.

d5 Hester (Hettie) Johanna Louw married Rev. Johannes (Hannes) Londt, Malawi, Eastern Cape (Kirkwood), CCAP, Zimbabwe.

e? Joretha Londt (medical docter), married Rev. Johannes Petrus (Jannie) de Bruin, Makhathini, Nata.l

c7 James Murray (Jimmy) Louw, DRC minister.

d2 Andries Africanus Louw (teacher: children of Afrikaner settlers) Thomson’s Falls, Kenya

e1 Jacobus (Koos) Murray Louw (ordained), joined his uncle, Jacobus Murray Louw (see B7 JEMIMA c7d7e2) at Maandagshoek (Dutch Reformed Church in Africa, Transvaal), later Bourke’s Luck, Swaziland

f1 Andries Arno Louw (ordained), Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, Hluhluwe, Natal.

e5 Willem Murray Louw, Founder and Director of the Suid-Afrikaanse Aksie vir Wêreld Evangelisasie (SAAWE), Kemptonpark.

f1 Andries Adriaan Louw (ordained), married to Cecile Murray (see B12 GEORGE c8d2e1f1) involved with SAAWE, lectured temporarily at Morgenster, passed away before permanent appointment.

d7 Jacobus Murray Louw (ordained), Maandagshoek Mission, Church Administrator, Dutch Reformed Church in Africa, Northern and Southern Transvaal Synods.

e2 Jacobus (James) Murray Louw (ordained), married Jacoba Reyneke (see B7 JEMINA c1d2e1f3); Bible Translator, Pietersburg, Northern Transvaal.


Married Rev. Jan Hendrik HOFMEYR.

c4 Andrew Murray Hofmeyr (ordained), Missionary in Greytown, Natal, Established training school for evangelists at Emandhleni. First lecturer and head of Stoffbeg Gedenkskool, Heilbron district.

d2 Henry (Harry) Murray Hofmeyr (ordained), Director of Stoffberg Gedenkskool, Heilbron: In 1960 the school divided into two and moved to Witsieshoek and Turfloop, near Polokwane. Harry served at both, eventually becoming Rector of the Theological School, University of the North.

e1 Andrew Murray Hofmeyr, Dutch Reformed Church in Africa Minister, Sharpeville and Langa, lecturer at Stoffberg Gedenkskool, Witsieshoek/Quaqua, DRC General Synod: Secretary for Mission.

f1 Henry Murray Hofmeyr, Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa Minister, Tshilidzini, Venda. Succeeded his uncle, Jan Hofmeyr (see B9 ISABELLA c4d2c3) in 2008 as National Director, Study Trust Bursary Fund.

e3 Jan Malan Hofmeyr, served as minister in the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa, Southern Transvaal (1960–1992): Meadowlands, Synod Youth Minister cum Synod Treasurer; Founder/National Director Study Trust Bursary Fund.

c7 John Murray Hofmeyr (ordained), pioneered work in Zambia at Magwero 1899

d2 Heloise Hester Louw Hofmeyr, married Rev. Dennis Johannes McDonald.

e1 Philippus Hofmeyr McDonald (ordained) Transkei Mission and Lecturer, Theological Schools, Decoligny & Morgenster, Zimbabwe.

c10 Charles Murray Hofmeyr (ordained), Zambia – established Madzimoyo Mission 1903

c11 Johannes Wynand Louw Hofmeyr (ordained), Kongwe, Malawi, later Mission Secretary, DRC Cape Synod


Married Rev. Hendrik Ludolph NEETHLING, who died an early death in 1893. Eliza nursed in British Prisoner of War camps during the Anglo Boer War 1899–1902.

1 DRC(M): Dutch Reformed Church (Mission)

2 See Pauw, 2016:226-243 for an overview of this unification process.

3 Du Plessis, 1911 contains several chapters dealing with the advent and progress of the various societies in South Africa.

4 For details on Marquard see De Kerkbode, 9 June 1914: 543f.

5 These are the present-day names of these countries. During the colonial era, they were respectively known as (the Protectorate of) Bechuanaland, (the Protectorate of) Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia (of which Mashonaland and the Morgenster Mission formed part) and Portuguese East Africa.

6 See Appendix at the end for more details and names of Murray descendants in mission.

7 For his studies in Scotland and the Netherlands, see Du Plessis, 1919:34–77.

8 Sometimes spelt Rutherfoord.

9 Apart from Botswana, Murray, although he never travelled or served there himself, was also directly or indirectly involved in establishing DRC missionary activities in Malawi (1888), Zimbabwe (1891), Zambia (1899), Mozambique (1908) and Nigeria (1908). For a review of DRC missions in these countries see Cronje, 1981. Through the SAGM Murray was also involved in establishing work in Angola, Swaziland, and Kenya.

10 MMU: Ministers’ Mission Union (of the DRC). Dutch: PZV

11 The SAGM was initially known as the Cape General Mission. Later it became the Africa Evangelical Fellowship [AEF] and eventually merged with SIM International in 1992. On the AEF see:

12 For a review of the life and work of Ferguson and Bliss, see Müller van Velden, 2017:23–38.

13 VSB: Vrouesendingbond (Women’s Missionary Union in the DRC)

14 Na Vyftig Jaar (1889–1939): Goue Jubileum van die Vrouesendingbond van die Kaapprovinsie. Cape Town: Nasionale Pers (1939:9–13).

15 She travelled to Malawi in the company of A.C. Murray and his bride, as well as a bride for Robert Blake.,These three were the very first women to come to the DRCM in Malawi. Martha Murray served from 1893 to 1906 (A.C. Murray 1931:86f, 319).

16 See Dreyer, 1927, for a history of the Institute, written for its Jubilee celebration. The name Samuel was a reference to the Old Testament story of the young boy who served in the temple in Jerusalem and heeded the Lord’s call (I Samuel 3).

17 On J.C. Pauw see Du Plessis, 2008:857f.

18 Although alumni from the Institute were duly ordained, their status differed from ministers serving in the DRC itself. The latter was designated by the Dutch/Afrikaans Dominee while the missionary ministers were designated Eerwaarde (a literal equivalent of the English Reverend).They were not eligible to be called to serve in DRC congregations because their training was not regarded as equal to the training at the Seminary at Stellenbosch. This distinction was only repealed in 1962 when the various DRC Synods were united under a national General Synod. Henceforth they were called Dominees and were eligible to be called to and serve in DRC congregations as well. (See also Pauw 2008:980.)

19 For details of his chaplaincy on St Helena, see A.F. Louw, 1958:56-122 and J. Louw, 1963.

20 POW: Prisoner of War

21 On Louw’s own involvement at the Institute, see A.F. Louw 1958:123–131.

22 MMU: Ministers’ Mission Union (of the DRC). Dutch: PZV

23 For an extract of the English translation of the MMU circular, see Pauw, 2016:15–16. Original text in Dutch in De Kerkbode 28/8/1887:269ff).

24 The journey is extensively and graphically described in A.C. Murray, 1897:33–100.

25 For a review of the DRC mission activities both within and outside of South Africa, see the twin volumes of Crafford, 1982 and Cronje, 1981.

26 Compiled from A.C. Murray, 1931: inter alia 319ff.; M.W. Retief, 1958: see inter alia the spreadsheet opposite p 196; A.F. Louw, 1958; J.M. Cronje, 1981; D. Crafford, 1982, Jaarboek of the DRC 1967 and various other editions; C.M. Pauw, 2016, cf. Index: 377 ff. and esp. 384-5; the DRC Archives, Stellenbosch (section on Malawi with personal files for virtually every person who served there).

For details on DRC ministers see also For a more complete list of Murray descendants, with biographical details, including those involved in church ministry in general, see

Much appreciated assistance from Dr Andrew Kok, Archivist and Dr Isabel Murray, Researcher, DRC Archives, Stellenbosch (2021) is also acknowledged. Other information was obtained from various individuals, including Esther Retief, Daniel Murray, Reenen Barry, Faure Louw, Louise Botha, Jan Hofmeyr, Cecile Murray, Kobus Odendaal.