Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC

Director of Communications

/Editor of The Sphinx

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Cell: 443-635-5911


April 25, 2024


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mourns Death of Alpha Brother, and L.A. Civil Rights Icon Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. mourns the death of Alpha Brother and L.A. Civil Rights icon Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray, who transitioned to Omega Chapter on Friday, April 5. He was 94.

Brother Murray, who presided over L.A.’s oldest African American congregation, First African Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly three decades, helped calm emotions during the 1992 L.A. unrest as well as later channeled jobs, housing, and millions in economic development into the then-struggling mostly, African American, and Latino surrounding communities.

Brother Rev. Dr. Murray, a Fall 1948 Beta Nu Chapter at Florida A&M University, where he received a degree in history and later embarked on an Air Force career. Three years later, he attended theology school at the School of Theology at Claremont College and received a doctorate in religion in 1964. Afterwards, he served as a pastor in Pomona, CA; Kansas City, KS.; and Seattle before moving to his assignment at First AME in 1977. After his tenure at First AME, he served as the John R. Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics at University of Southern California and chair of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement from 2005 through 2022. He was a member of the Beta Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA.

“Brother Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray was a giant among the South Los Angeles community and dedicated his life to service and advocacy,” said Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III. “The Fraternity offers its deepest condolences to the family of Rev. Dr. Murray, and we hope they find solace in that we mourn with them, and that they are not alone.”


About Alpha Phi Alpha

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American men, was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and is headquartered in Baltimore, MD.  The Fraternity has long stood at the forefront of the African American community’s fight for civil rights through Alpha men such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Andrew Young, Edward Brooke and Cornel West. The fraternity, through its more than 720 college and alumni chapters and general-organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit us at and follow us on all platforms @apa1906network.