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John Gardner Murray (August 31, 1857 – October 3, 1929) was the sixteenth presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was the first person elected to the position rather than succeeding to it automatically as the oldest bishop when his predecessor died.

Early and family lifeEdit

Murray was born in Lonaconing, Allegheny County, Maryland. His parents were both born in Scotland. The public schools of Lonaconing provided his early education. He attended the Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania and Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey.[1]

Murray's education was interrupted by the death of his father. He worked in mining and manufacturing from 1879 to 1892 in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Alabama. During these years, he kept active in serving his church. In 1881, he married Harriet M. Sprague. They married in Kansas and took up residence in Alabama. Their daughter Emeline was born there. In 1884, Mrs. Murray and Emeline drowned when the steamer Belmont capsized on the Ohio River during a cyclone. Five years later, Murray married Clara A. Hunsicker, of the same town in Kansas. Six children were born to this marriage.[1]


From 1893 onward, Murray devoted his career to church ministry. By April 1894, he was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church in Selma, Alabama. He ministered in Alabama until 1903 when he moved to Baltimore, Maryland.[1] In 1911, a convention of the Diocese of Maryland elected Rev. Murray to succeed Bishop William Paret.

Bishop Murray became the first elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Death and legacyEdit

He died in office in New York City in 1929, and is buried in Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville, Baltimore County, Maryland.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Williams, T. j. c.; McKinsey, Folger (1979) [1910], History of Frederick County, Maryland, 1, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, p. 773

External linksEdit

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Ethelbert Talbot
16th Presiding Bishop
January 1, 1926 - October 3, 1929
Succeeded by
Charles Palmerston Anderson
Preceded by
William Paret
7th Bishop of Maryland
Succeeded by
Edward Helfenstein